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J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 2002 Jan;19(1):173-84.

Decline of photopic multifocal electroretinogram responses with age is due primarily to preretinal optical factors.

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  • 1Discoveries in Sight Research Laboratories, Devers Eye Institute, Portland, Oregon 97208-3950, USA.


Age-related changes in photopic retinal function were evaluated topographically with the multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG). Thirty-two subjects between the ages of 16 and 69 participated. There was a strong dependence on age for all mfERG response measures that was strongest for the group of central retinal responses (i.e., within 5 deg eccentricity) and approximately equal for responses between 5 and 20 deg. After adjustment for crystalline lens optical density and pupil diameter, significant effects of age were limited to central first-order (i.e., within 5 deg) and second-order response kernels. Simulation studies support an optical basis for the observed age-related changes. It is concluded that mfERG changes between the ages of 20 and 70 are due predominantly to preretinal optical factors.

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