Air Force Research Labs, Brooks Air Force Base, TX

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Air Force Research Labs, Brooks Air Force Base, TX

DOD Funding of Animal Cruelty 2005:
N1: Physical Protection - 2

Title: Evaluation of Acute Laser Retinal Damage in an Awake Task Oriented NonHuman Primate (Macaca mulatta) Animal Model

Research Category:

FY: 2005 Funding (in dollars): $225,000

Responsible Organization: AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB/BROOKS
Primary Contact: US Army Medical Research Detachment of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
City: Brooks City-Base
State: TX
Zip: 78235-5116

Keywords: LABORATORY ANIMALS VISUAL PURSUIT MOTOR TRACKING PERFORMANCE LASER INDUCED RETINAL INJURY OPTICAL COHERENCE TOMOGRAPHY CONFOCAL SCANNING LASER OPHTHALMOSCOPY

Objective: To continue previous research with the addition of an electrodiagnostic metric for correlation with Pursuit Motor tracking performance metric and ophthalmic imaging diagnostics. Evaluate laser induced mechanisms of retinal damage and correlate such damage with retinal electrodiagnostic measurements.

Approach: Lasers on the modern battlefield pose significant threats to the integrity of the human eye, its functionality, and the visual guidance it provides for critical visual motor tasks in target acquisition and tracking. The research approach involves the behavioral evaluation of repeated q-switched laser exposure made on-line in NHPs specifically trained to track a small annulus either with foveal or parafoveal vision. This phase of the program is designed to assess the effect of acute or cumulative laser exposure at threshold and above threshold damage levels on NHP pursuit motor tracking performance. As this task depends both on visual and neural motor mechanisms, it is hypothesized that its sensitivity may be considerably lower than other techniques that more directly assess the visual neural retinal system. A second group of NHPs are therefore included in this study in which focal electroretinography will be utilized to assess visual function loss more directly. State of the art retinal imaging techniques that permit both traditional ophthalmic imaging of the retina and axial imaging (Optical Coherence Tomography and Confocal Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy) will be employed periodically to assess laser induced retinal pathology in both visual performance and focal electroretinography.   
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Research was conducted in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act and other Federal statutes and regulations relating to the use of animals in research and was reviewed and approved by the Institute's Animal Care and Use Committee.

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Rats, mice, birds, amphibians and other animals have been excluded from coverage by the Animal Welfare Act. Therefore research facility reports do not include these animals. As a result of this situation, a blank report, or one with few animals listed, does not mean that a facility has not performed experiments on non-reportable animals. A blank form does mean that the facility in question has not used covered animals (primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, pigs, sheep, goats, etc.). Rats and mice alone are believed to comprise over 90% of the animals used in experimentation. Therefore the majority of animals used at research facilities are not even counted.

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