Eyesight develops until you are 40 years of age, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the Neuroscience and Behaviour at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. Medical News Today reports that the results of the study have an impact on the approach of adult treatment for eye conditions.
If until now, it was believed that eyesight develops in the first years of life and stops right there, a recent study found that proteins in the primary visual cortex continue to develop even after we become adults.
The researchers studied changes in the visual cortex of people with ages ranging from 20 to 80, post-mortem. More specifically, they studied how neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid(GABA) inhibited neurotransmitter glutamate in the visual cortex. And they have observed that the mechanism does not stop at the previously thought time – first years of life – but continues to develop until people reach their 40s.
“There’s a big gap in our understanding of how our brains function. Our idea of sensory areas developing in childhood and then being static is part of the challenge. It’s not correct”, notes lead researcher, Prof. Kathryn Murphy.
These results have a great impact on the approach of a series of ocular conditions, including amblyopia, better known as “lazy eye”. Only in the United States, almost 3% of children have received this diagnosis.
As for adult, until now it was thought they any treatment for them would have no result, as their cortex does not respond to stimulation. But these latest findings prove that the visual cortex is not losing its plasticity until a lot later in life.
The results of Prof. Kathryn Murphy’s research have been published in the Journal of Neuroscience, on May 27.