All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Timothy W Kraft

Advisory Committee Members

Mark Swanson

Jillian Ziemanski

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science (MS) School of Optometry


Aging and age-related changes in the brain are known to parallel functional and anatomical changes in the eye, especially in certain degenerative diseases. This study explores the potential of combining ERG, specifically the Pattern Electroretinogram (PERG), which has a black and white checkerboard pattern, and OCT tests to monitor retinal ganglion cell health. We compared ERG and OCT findings from ten normal females, ages ranging from 18 to 30 years old to ascertain if ganglion cell layer volume is a reliable indicator of ganglion cell function as measured by ERG. Our results from these healthy subjects will serve as prelude to studies of agerelated neurodegenerative diseases. Statistical analysis utilizing a mixed linear model with a significance level of 0.05 showed that our current PERG protocol has a statistical power of over 95% in detecting a significant difference in participant’s PERG response with a 10% change in PERG stimulus parameters (contrast, check size, or a combination of both contrast and check size). An increased knowledge of electrophysiological tests could help identify disease damage before the appearance of standard clinical symptoms such as memory loss. Early warning could have incalculable value in diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression or therapeutic intervention.

Included in

Optometry Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.