Glossary

  • Ciliary Body

    A ring of tissue that contains muscles and "fibers" that adjust lens thickness to focus light on the retina, so that we can see. In addition, it produces fluid to provide nutrients and take away waste from the lens and cornea, thus helping to control eye pressure.

  • Cone Cell

    A type of photoreceptor, it detects light and is responsible for providing fine detail, daylight and color vision.

  • Cone-Rod Dystrophy

    Cone-rod dystrophy results from a primary loss of cone photoreceptors, followed by loss of rods.

  • Congenital Stationary Night Blindness (CSNB)

    An inherited eye disorder that is not progressive ("stationary") and principally affects the rod photoreceptors in the retina, impairing night vision.

    There may also be moderate to high myopia (short sightedness). The disorder is usually diagnosed by electroretinogram.

  • Copper

    A nutritional mineral that is required for proper functioning and maintenance of the body.

  • Cornea

    The clear dome or "window" that covers the front of the eye, it provides a large part of the focusing ability of the eye.

    The cornea is the clear dome that covers the front of the eye. It starts to focus light onto the lens. If the eye is like a camera, consider the cornea to be like a UV (ultraviolet) filter screwed onto the end of the camera lens. This is the part of the eye that undergoes vision-correcting LASIK surgery.

  • Cortical implant

    An implant into the part of the brain that interprets vision signals that come from the retina. Connecting this implant with a vision aide, like camera-glasses, may be a way to return vision to those who are blind.

  • DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)

    A healthy, highly unsaturated fatty acid (a type of omega-3 fatty acid) that is found in foods (e.g., tuna, salmon) and dietary supplements, implicated in photoreceptor function.

  • Drusen

    Yellow-white retinal deposits thought to include proteins, pigments and fats. Dry AMD or juvenile macular degeneration may occur when drusen become too large or numerous and collect around the macula.

  • FDA

    Acronym for the Food and Drug Administration, a branch of the United States (US) Department of Health and Human Services.

  • FFB

    Acronym for Foundation Fighting Blindness.

  • Free Radical

    A highly reactive chemical or nutritional breakdown product that can cause damage to a cell or tissue.

  • Gene

    A unit of inheritance, encoded by DNA. If there's a mutation in a gene, this may cause a disease.

  • Gene Mapping

    Identifying a region of a chromosome that is responsible for causing a disease (or causing some known function), but not yet identifying the exact gene.

  • Gene Therapy (GT)

    A therapeutic process that replaces or turns off the "bad" or mutated disease-causing gene and restores some level of normal protein function.

  • Genetic Testing (also called Genotyping)

    Generally, is defined as determining the genetic make-up of an individual; specifically, is looking for the gene(s) that cause an individual's retinal degenerative disease.

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