Development of molecular imaging system of the retina based in Raman spectroscopy for patients with retina and brain diseases
Retinal diseases are a major cause of blindness. Diagnosis of these diseases is based on visual disability and/or retinal structural damage and this leads to a delayed diagnosis. No curative treatment is available for these disease and we have only therapies to halt the progression of the disease. Having a complete molecular information of these disease will allow to a better understanding of the pathogenic mechanism of the diseases and will help for the development of better therapies and monitoring of these patients. Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer´s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis are one of the major health problems in the EU. Similarly to retinal disease, we have only treatments to halt the progression of the disease.The development of effective therapies for preventing and treating brain diseases is hampered because technical difficulties for studying the brain, especially for studing molecular and metabolic changes that would favour a better undertanding of pathogenic mechanisms of the disease and develpment of new therapies. The retina is part of the central nervous system. The majority of brain diseases also affect the retina, modifying its molecules and metabolites, even if in many cases such abnormalities are asymptomatic.
Raman Spectroscopy is a technique that identifies chemical properties of samples due to its ability of detecting molecular vibration frequencies that characterize molecular species. Our proposal aims to develop a Raman Spectrofotometer integrated within a Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope for measuring metabolic changes in the retina of patients with retinopathies and brain diseases. Identifying typical molecular pattern of each disease allow to use this technology as a diagnostic and prognostic tool and also provides information for developing neuroprotective therapies.
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