The following is a list of titles suggested by academic staff. If none of these appeal you are encouraged to come up with your own title. MSc DISSERTATION TITLES TITLE Longitudinal changes in structural and functional measurement in glaucoma SUPERVISOR Dr David Crabb Reporting information in studies of diagnostic test accuracy in optometry and ophthalmology Dr David Crabb A review of the effect of contact lenses on the visual field Prof. Bruce Evans A review of ocular dominance and its application in optometry The anatomy of amblyopia (not available 1/6/08 – 31/5/09) Vision and sport (not available 1/6/08 – 31/5/09) Loss of binocularity and disability (not available 1/6/08 – 31/5/09) Prof. Bruce Evans Dr Simon Grant Dr Simon Grant Dr Simon Grant Visual performance in those with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) Prof. D. Edgar Are multi-focal intraocular lenses better than single focus intraocular lenses? Dr Subramanian Multi-focal Intraocular lenses are thought to provide clear vision at most working distances. However many of these lenses have also been found to cause a reduction in Contrast Sensitivity and increase in glare sensitivity. The students will be required to review the advantages and disadvantages of Multi-focal lenses and conclude whether these lenses are better than single focus intraocular lenses Low Vision and Driving In the United States patients with low vision are allowed to drive with a bi-optic telescope as long as they meet certain criteria. The student will be required to review literature on this controversial topic and based on this discuss whether subjects with low vision should be allowed to drive in the United Kingdom. Dr Subramanian The Charles Bonnet syndrome Charles Bonnet Syndrome is characterised by visual hallucinations and usually occurs in patients with visual impairment. The student will be required to review Charles Bonnet Syndrome and discuss how a patient presenting with this syndrome may be managed in an Optometry Clinic Dr Subramanian The use of signal-detection theory in blindsight studies Dr Joshua Solomon How distal does consciousness reach? Discuss the evidence for and against Crick & Koch's famous conjecture that consciousness has no direct access to primary visual cortex. Dr Joshua Solomon A study of the contribution rod signals can make to colour vision Prof. John Barbur A study of the neural mechanisms that can give rise to chromatic afterimages Prof. John Barbur Methods for characterising visual loss in diseases of the retina and the optic nerve Prof. John Barbur Loss of visual field sensitivity and distributed attention with Prof. John Barbur ageing and the effects on driving population Inductive tissue interactions during formation of the embryonic eye Much of normal development depends on interactions between neighbouring tissues. An interaction that results in a change of one of the interacting tissues is called induction. In the eye, for example, the lens is induced to develop by the presence of the optic vesicle – if there is no optic vesicle there will be no lens. This is only one example of many inductive interactions among the tissues of the developing eye. This dissertation will review the evidence for inductive interactions between different tissues within the developing eye and the nature of the molecular signals that mediate the interactions. Dr. Gary Baker Specification of mammalian neocortical areas The mammalian neocortex is a heterogeneous tissue that is divided into many functionally specialized regions. It contains, for example, numerous different visual areas, each seemingly computing different aspects of the visual scene. The various areas can be characterized by differing cellular architecture and different axonal inputs and outputs. This dissertation will evaluate the role of the input from the thalamus (such as the LGN) as well as intrinsic genetic influences on the parcellation of cortex into distinct regions during development. Dr. Gary Baker Gene targeted therapy in inherited retinal degenerations. What can, cannot and could be done. Dr Paul Constable Function of the inner and outer blood retinal barriers. Novel methods for delivering drugs to the retina. Anterior Segment Biometry – a critical comparison Yellow intraocular lenses – the evidence Dr Paul Constable Dr. Chris Hull Dr. Chris Hull Dr Luis Diaz-Santana Ocular aberrations dynamics The optical quality of the eye is described by its aberrations. Modern techniques to measure ocular aberrations have shown a surprisingly dynamic behaviour. There are several components to it: tear film, accommodation, eye movements, changes in intraocular pressure, breathing, heartbeat, etc. In this dissertation you will review the available literature to summarise what we now understand about aberration dynamics, and what is still an unknown. Ocular aberration statistics across different populations The optical quality of the eye is described by its aberrations. As we are all different, we all have different aberrations. There are a number of studies in the literature describing the statistics of ocular aberrations across different populations. In this dissertation you will summarise the findings of these studies. Dr Luis Diaz-Santana Dr Luis Diaz-Santana Retinal imaging assisted with adaptive optics Up until very recently imaging individual photoreceptors in vivo in the human eye was thought to be impossible. In 1996 David Williams showed that with the help of an astronomical technique called adaptive optics, it was actually possible to see them. Since then, a number of research groups around the world have taken this technique and modified it to assist several retinal imaging modalities (OCT, cSLO, and fundus cameras). In this dissertation you will make a summary of the technique, current state of the art, and the challenges to be overcome to take this instrumentation into useful clinical instruments. The genetic basis of eye disease Prof. John Lawrenson The role of the optometrist in primary eye care Prof. John Lawrenson The macular pigment; distribution, structure and function This dissertation will outline the normal structure and function of the macular pigment and consider its possible functions. The component chemicals of the macular pigment (lutein and zeaxanthin) are also being used as nutritional supplements to ‘protect the eye against disease’. The role of such nutritional supplements could also be considered Prof. Ron Douglas Novel treatments for Macular degeneration; anti-VEGF drugs Prof. Ron Douglas In wet ARMD blood vessels grow from the choroid into the retina resulting in leakage causing visual loss. Abnormal vessels growth involves the release of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). It’s inhibition seems to be effective in halting and even reversing some of the vision loss resulting from ARMD. This dissertation will consider the evidence for anti-VEGF drugs as an effective therapy for ARMD. NHS policy regarding the use of such drugs might also be considered. Melatonin; is it any use as a drug? Melatonin is a hormone secreted at night by the pineal gland which, among other things, helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle. It is being marketed using phrases as "Melatonin is the all-natural nightcap”, and millions are spent on it by consumers as a sleep-aid or to overcome jet lag. This dissertation will consider the normal function of melatonin in the body and its potential as a therapeutic drug. It is also synthesised in the retina and is involved in dark adaptation. Might it be of any benefit as an ocular therapeutic agent? Prof. Ron Douglas Gene therapy as a cure for ocular disease The first trials involving insertion of genes using viral vectors to cure eye disease are currently underway. What is the theoretical basis of such therapy and what are the chances of success? Which eye disease might be amenable to such treatment? Prof. Ron Douglas Prof. Ron Douglas Will retinal transplants ever be a viable treatment for degenerative disease? After many years of failure, retinal implants are now beginning to be viable. This dissertation will review this work and consider the likelihood of transplants ever becoming main stream therapy for treating retinal disease.