Relationship between retina and circadian rhythms explored in new book

January 27, 2014 by Joy Bell

Emory Eye Center Director of Research, P. Michael Iuvone, the Sylvia Montag Ferst and Frank W. Ferst Professor of Ophthalmology, has published a new book, The Retina and Circadian Rhythms (Springer, 2014), along with fellow editors Gianluca Tosini (Morehouse College of Medicine), Douglas G. McMahon (Vanderbilt University), and Shaun P. Collin (University of Western Australia).

The book provides a comprehensive review of the retinal and their roles in photoreception and visual function. Its aim is to further the study of retinal neurobiology by post-docs and upper level undergraduate or graduate students and to provide a resource for clinicians about how daily changes in retinal function may influence treatment outcomes.

The retina, the thin neural tissue of the in the back of the eye, detects light, informs the brain of its visual environment, and synchronizes with the brain's central clock, thereby playing an important role in the body's circadian system. Because of the wide variance in luminance over 24 hours, the retina faces a challenge in its role of sensing that light variance. Circadian rhythms contribute to the large dynamic range of light detection by retina, allowing us to see in bright light and starlight conditions. The text summarizes knowledge collected over three decades in the understanding of the retinal circadian clock throughout many animal species.

"Modern society exposes us to light at night, which disrupts our bodies' circadian rhythms and may predispose us to blinding retinal disorders" says Iuvone. "This book covers topics regarding the regulation of ocular circadian rhythms, which regulate high-resolution vision and protection from environmental or endogenous stressors that may contribute blinding diseases such as and diabetic retinopathy. We were fortunate to get leaders in the field of retinal neurobiology to provide up-to-date reviews of this important topic. This book will provide a lasting contribution as a scientific and educational resource."

Iuvone has served as director of research at the Emory Eye Center since 2009. Originally from New York, he came to Emory in 1978, serving in the pharmacology department, and was promoted to full professor in 1990. He has held a joint appointment in ophthalmology from 1980.

He earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees at the University of Florida and did post-doctoral studies at the National Institute of Health. Iuvone is a leader in numerous research organizations, such as the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and the International Society of Eye Research. He currently serves as principal investigator on a NIH grant that deals with , which provides basic science information relevant to eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and . He is a co-investigator on several other NIH grants dealing with myopia, ocular melanoma, and circadian rhythms in health and disease.

He has been an editorial board member on five distinguished journals including the Journal of Neurochemistry, Experimental Eye Research and Molecular Vision. He was named a fellow of ARVO at the society's 2009 meeting. Iuvone has published more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed literature.

Explore further: New avenue to treat diabetes-related vision problems

Related Stories

New avenue to treat diabetes-related vision problems

January 22, 2014
Dopamine-restoring drugs already used to treat Parkinson's disease may also be beneficial for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness in adults, researchers have discovered.

Nutrition influences metabolism through circadian rhythms

December 19, 2013
A high-fat diet affects the molecular mechanism controlling the internal body clock that regulates metabolic functions in the liver, UC Irvine scientists have found. Disruption of these circadian rhythms may contribute to ...

Researchers collaborate to reduce effects of the aging eye

January 17, 2014
Aging gracefully may not be an option for the 40 million people worldwide who are blind or have significant visual impairment. It's reported that 65% of those with visual impairment and 82% of those who are blind are over ...

New hope for patients with macular degeneration

December 13, 2013
Macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness in Australia, affecting one in seven people over the age of 50.

Research presents new hope of early diagnosis of major cause of blindness

January 22, 2014
Research is under way to develop new techniques for detecting diabetic retinopathy at early onset with the hope of improving prevention and treatment of this major cause of blindness.

Gene therapy improves eyesight in people born with an incurable form of blindness

January 15, 2014
A new gene therapy has restored some sight in people born with an inherited, progressive form of blindness. The technique replaces a defective gene in the eye with a normal working copy of the gene using a single injection.

Recommended for you

World's blind population to soar: study

August 3, 2017
The world's blind will increase threefold from about 36 million today to 115 million in 2050 as populations expand and individuals grow ever older, researchers said Thursday.

Simulations signal early success for fractal-based retinal implants

July 27, 2017
Computer simulations of electrical charges sent to retinal implants based on fractal geometry have University of Oregon researchers moving forward with their eyes focused on biological testing.

Scientists regenerate retinal cells in mice

July 26, 2017
Scientists have successfully regenerated cells in the retina of adult mice at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.

Genome editing with CRISPR-Cas9 prevents angiogenesis of the retina

July 24, 2017
A research team from the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear has successfully prevented mice from developing angiogenesis of the retina—the sensory tissue at the back of the eye—using gene-editing ...

Too little vitamin D may hinder recovery of injured corneas

July 24, 2017
Injury or disease in combination with too little vitamin D can be bad for the window to your eyes.

Combination of type 2 diabetes and sleep apnoea indicates eyesight loss within four years

July 4, 2017
Research led by the University of Birmingham has discovered that patients who suffer from both Type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnoea are at greater risk of developing a condition that leads to blindness within an average ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Sinister1812
not rated yet Jan 27, 2014
Load of crap. The body clock is determined by genetics, not light/dark. I can't believe this myth hasn't been busted yet.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.