Testing the functional integrity of ocular reflexes
The eye receives sensory and motor innervations to its extrinsic and intrinsic tissues through cranial nerves and the sympathetic trunk. The optic nerve is specific for vision while other ocular and extra-ocular structures transmit sensory modalities such as pain and pressure to the brain through the ophthalmic branch of the trigeminal nerve. Motor responses to sensory inputs are provided through the facial nerve, oculomotor, trochler and abduscent nerve. In addition the sympathetic trunk through the cranial cervical ganglia (CCG) supplies parasympathetic innervation to the ciliary muscles and glands around the eyeball.
Most eye tests, especially reflexes, involve the stimulation of sensory and motor circuits which in turn offer useful clinical information as to the functional integrity of the eye itself. In addition, the eye examinations may detect ocular manifestations of systemic disease, signs of tumors or other anomalies of the brain.
We have designed a Flash animation in which a virtual patient is provided to test pupillary (consensual) light reflex, palpebral and corneal reflexes as well as testing the nervous control of extra-ocular muscles of the eye. It is hoped that the use of a virtual patient will provide a safe way to observe and practice on a wide range of nerve or ocular deficits and also receive informative feedback.
Testing the functional integrity of ocular reflexes (requires Flash 9 or later)
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