Congratulations to Associate Scientist Chuan Hou, MD, PhD, of The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco, who was awarded a five-year grant for an amblyopia study from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Hou is a pediatric ophthalmologist with over ten years experience in clinical practice and eye surgeries in strabismus, cataract, glaucoma and retinal detachment. She has over fifteen years experience in vision research with substantial expertise in amblyopia and infant vision development with VEP and fMRI-informed EEG source-imaging methodology. With her clinical and research background, Dr. Hou is unique in her ability to conduct this proposed study.
Dr. Hou’s current NEI-NIH grant is entitled, “ Interocular Suppression and Selective Attention in Amblyopia.” Amblyopia (‘lazy eye’), the loss of visual acuity in one eye that cannot be corrected by glasses, is the most common cause of monocular vision loss worldwide and affects 3-5% of the population. In addition to the acuity loss, a high proportion of amblyopic patients lack binocular function and depth perception. The combined loss of acuity and depth perception has a significant impact on the quality of life in amblyopes. In children, the standard clinical treatment is to patch the non-amblyopic fellow eye to promote the use of the amblyopic eye. Adults are usually not treated, because amblyopia has long been considered untreatable in adults. This project studies the role of top-influences of attention in amblyopic suppression and proposes alternative therapies for those amblyopic patients who do not respond well to the conventional regimen.