Narrator: This is Science Today. The most common disease that's responsible for the largest portion of blindness in this country and in most developed countries is age-related macular degeneration.
Olivier: As you get older there are changes in the retina that can cause blood vessels to grow through the photoreceptors of the cells that are responsible for vision and disrupt the retina in a way that causes loss of vision. So, that's the disease that causes the most blindness and there are many new treatments that are being explored for this disease and some existing treatments. And the earlier you catch it, the better off you are.
Narrator: Scott Olivier of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is part of team that developed an instrument that will someday enable clinicians to image and measure microscopic structures of the living eye, including individual photoreceptors.
Olivier: The image is sent directly to a computer monitor in real time and the doctor is basically looking at a video image of the back of your eye.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.