Science Questions

Why can't you fix al llazy eyes?

Sun, 26th Nov 2006

Part of the show Repairing the Retina and Spinal Cord

Question

Mike in St. Osyth asked:

He has a lazy eye. It can't be rectified because it's something to do with the brain not connecting with the eye properly. He - why can't that be fixed, in general terms?

Answer

Well it's very difficult to change the connections within the brain. In a lazy eye, we're looking at a relatively normal retina and optic nerve. It's actually the connections in the brain. And there are some 10^10, to 10^11 neurons in the brain, each of these may have 50 or even 100 different connections. You can imagine how many potential connections there are, to rewire and remodel. And I think really at the moment that's beyond what we can do.

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