Neuro-ophthalmology is a subspecialty of both neurology and ophthalmology requiring specialized training and expertise in the problems of the eye, brain, nerves and muscles. Neuro-ophthalmologists have unique abilities to evaluate patients from the ophthalmologic, neurologic and medical standpoints to diagnose and treat a wide variety of problems.
Understanding the role of the eye and the brain and their interconnections in health and disease is the goal of neuro-ophthalmology.
Some neuro-ophthalmic conditions tend to cause disturbances in the higher levels of visual function, altering the interpretation, rather than the perception, of visual information. Sophisticated eye-monitoring devices, coupled with computer-driven display systems, make it possible to study how eye movement and visual attention are affected by damage to the brain’s visual centres.
The Eye Institute’s Neuro-ophthalmology Clinic works closely with the Department of Radiology and the Divisions of Neurology and Neurosurgery. Advances in neuro-radiology, particularly the development of Computerized Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), allow neuro-ophthalmologists to obtain detailed pictures of the brain. These tools make it possible for specialists to accurately diagnose diseases and pinpoint affected areas.
Using the information revealed in the images, neuro-ophthalmologists can plan treatment strategies for intracranial tumours, pituitary adenomas and disorders affecting either the visual sensory pathways or the ocular motor prior to entering the operating room. They can also predict the patient’s visual prognosis following medical, surgical or radiation therapy.