• The role of dark adaptation in understanding early AMD.

      Murray, Ian J; email: ian.j.murray@manchester.ac.uk; Rodrigo-Diaz, Elena; Kelly, Jeremiah M F; Tahir, Humza J; Carden, David; Patryas, Laura; Parry, Neil Ra (2021-10-06)
      The main aim of the paper is to discuss current knowledge on how Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) affects Dark Adaptation (DA). The paper is divided into three parts. Firstly, we outline some of the molecular mechanisms that control DA. Secondly, we review the psychophysical issues and the corresponding analytical techniques. Finally, we characterise the link between slowed DA and the morphological abnormalities in early AMD. Historically, DA has been regarded as too cumbersome for widespread clinical application. Yet the technique is extremely useful; it is widely accepted that the psychophysically obtained slope of the second rod-mediated phase of the dark adaptation function is an accurate assay of photoreceptor pigment regeneration kinetics. Technological developments have prompted new ways of generating the DA curve, but analytical problems remain. A simple potential solution to these, based on the application of a novel fast mathematical algorithm, is presented. This allows the calculation of the parameters of the DA curve in real time. Improving current management of AMD will depend on identifying a satisfactory endpoint for evaluating future therapeutic strategies. This must be implemented before the onset of severe disease. Morphological changes progress too slowly to act as a satisfactory endpoint for new therapies whereas functional changes, such as those seen in DA, may have more potential in this regard. It is important to recognise, however, that the functional changes are not confined to rods and that building a mathematical model of the DA curve enables the separation of rod and cone dysfunction and allows more versatility in terms of the range of disease severity that can be monitored. Examples are presented that show how analysing the DA curve into its constituent components can improve our understanding of the morphological changes in early AMD. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Ltd.]