Workshop 23

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Amblyopia: Update on Basic and Translational Science, 2018

David G. Hunter; Takao K. Hensch; Elizabeth M. Quinlan; Jonathan M. Holmes
Lasker Foundation / International Retinal Research Foundation
New York, NY

Purpose/Relevance: The Lasker/IRRF Initiative on Amblyopia convened an international group of basic scientists and clinicians to evaluate the scientific challenges and opportunities in the study and treatment of amblyopia. The group developed recommendations for multidisciplinary approaches to accelerate innovations to better prevent, diagnose, and treat amblyopia. In this workshop, we will share the key findings of this report on amblyopia and invite discussion about future directions and priorities.

Target Audience: Clinicians and researchers interested in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of amblyopia.

Current Practice: Despite more than a century of research, amblyopia remains difficult to detect and a challenge to treat effectively; it is more difficult to treat if not discovered early in life.

Best Practice: We envision a future where amblyopia is detected as soon as it develops and is fully treated using well-tolerated and easy-to-implement therapy, and where patients treated later in life will recover normal monocular and binocular vision via reopened critical periods of brain plasticity.

Expected Outcomes: Attendees will have an understanding of the current state of amblyopia research at a basic, translational, and clinical level. The participant will develop a framework for anticipating and interpreting the results of new studies as they emerge.

Format: Introduction, with four presentations by leaders of the Lasker/IRRF Amblyopia Initiative, followed by audience interaction with the panel of experts.

Summary: The content will focus on key aspects of amblyopia diagnosis and treatment, following the format outlined by the major topic areas of the Initiative, and will be led by four authors of the recently published report. Topics include: Refining the definition of amblyopia; Early diagnosis and current treatment; Critical periods and extending the treatment window; Amblyopia as a template for brain science; Animal models for amblyopia; and New pharmacologic and environmental approaches to treatment.

References: Amblyopia: Challenges and Opportunities. A Report by the Lasker/IRRF Initiative for Innovation in Vision Science, March, 2017; available at http://bit.ly/2yqxIoP

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