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Sensory losses caused by mercury intoxication: psychophysical and neurophysiological studies in patients and in animal models


The great development of the study of the visual system reflects the scientific and technological explosion of computer science, of neuroscience and of molecular biology. The area is at the frontier of science, with methodological and conceptual contributions of the last decade, reaching rapidly the stage of translational research, in which knowledge from basic research is transferred to the clinic. The present project focuses on both research areas: basic and clinical. Vision is one of the most important functions for life. It mediates contact with the outer world for interaction with co-specifics, foraging, reproduction, defense, attack, etc. Visual losses affect the capacity to perform these activities and can be revealing of other functionallosses such as memory, attention, visuo-motor coordination. These losses are caused by genetic factors (retinosis pigmentar, Stargardt's disease, cone degeneration), by diverse pathologies (diabetes, glaucoma, hipertension), by the toxic effect of drugs (chloroquine, vigabactrin, Viagra, and many others), or by environmental contaminants (mercury, zink, agrotoxics, solvents, etc). For evaluation of vision there are new psychophysical and non-invasive electrophysiological methods, made available by recent computer advances, which have refined the display of visual stimuli, experimental programming, on-line analysis, etc. To investigate the mechanisms responsible for the losses, which are mostly unknown, it is necessary to use animal models, in which access to the retina and higher centres is possible. (AU)

Scientific publications (17)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DA COSTA, MARCELO FERNANDES; PARANHOS JUNIOR, AUGUSTO; LOTTENBERG, CLAUDIO LUIZ; CASTRO, LEONARDO CUNHA; VENTURA, DORA FIX. Psychophysical Measurements of Luminance Contrast Sensitivity and Color Discrimination with Transparent and Blue-Light Filter Intraocular Lenses. OPHTHALMOLOGY AND THERAPY, v. 6, n. 2, p. 301-312, DEC 2017. Web of Science Citations: 1.
OLIVER BENTO-TORRES, NATALI VALIM; RODRIGUES, ANDERSON RAIOL; TENTES CORTES, MARIA IZABEL; DE OLIVEIRA BONCI, DANIELA MARIA; VENTURA, DORA FIX; DE LIMA SILVEIRA, LUIZ CARLOS. Psychophysical Evaluation of Congenital Colour Vision Deficiency: Discrimination between Protans and Deutans Using Mollon-Reffin's Ellipses and the Farnsworth-Munsell 100-Hue Test. PLoS One, v. 11, n. 4 APR 21 2016. Web of Science Citations: 2.
DE FARIAS ROCHA, FERNANDO ALLAN; GOMES, BRUNO DUARTE; DE LIMA SILVEIRA, LUIZ CARLOS; MARTINS, SONIA LIMARA; AGUIAR, RENATA GENARO; DE SOUZA, JOHN MANUEL; VENTURA, DORA FIX. Spectral Sensitivity Measured with Electroretinogram Using a Constant Response Method. PLoS One, v. 11, n. 1 JAN 22 2016. Web of Science Citations: 0.
COSTA, THIAGO LEIROS; SALGUEIRO BARBONI, MIRELLA TELLES; DE ARAUJO MOURA, ANA LAURA; OLIVEIRA BONCI, DANIELA MARIA; GUALTIERI, MIRELLA; DE LIMA SILVEIRA, LUIZ CARLOS; VENTURA, DORA FIX. Long-Term Occupational Exposure to Organic Solvents Affects Color Vision, Contrast Sensitivity and Visual Fields. PLoS One, v. 7, n. 8 AUG 15 2012. Web of Science Citations: 16.
COSTA, MARCELO FERNANDES; VENTURA, DORA FIX. Visual impairment in children with spastic cerebral palsy measured by psychophysical and electrophysiological grating acuity tests. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, v. 15, n. 6, p. 414-424, 2012. Web of Science Citations: 5.
GUALTIERI, MIRELLA; BANDEIRA, MARCIO; HAMER, RUSSELL DAVID; DAMICO, FRANCISCO MAX; ARAUJO MOURA, ANA LAURA; VENTURA, DORA FIX. Contrast Sensitivity Mediated by Inferred Magno- and Parvocellular Pathways in Type 2 Diabetics with and without Nonproliferative Retinopathy. INVESTIGATIVE OPHTHALMOLOGY & VISUAL SCIENCE, v. 52, n. 2, p. 1151-1155, FEB 2011. Web of Science Citations: 18.
SALGUEIRO BARBONI, MIRELLA TELLES; FEITOSA-SANTANA, CLAUDIA; ZACHI, ELAINE CRISTINA; LAGO, MARCOS; ANTUNES TEIXEIRA, ROSANI APARECIDA; TAUB, ANITA; DA COSTA, MARCELO FERNANDES; DE LIMA SILVEIRA, LUIZ CARLOS; VENTURA, DORA FIX. Preliminary Findings on the Effects of Occupational Exposure to Mercury Vapor Below Safety Levels on Visual and Neuropsychological Functions. JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE, v. 51, n. 12, p. 1403-1412, DEC 2009. Web of Science Citations: 16.
BARBONI‚ M.T.S.; DA COSTA‚ M.F.; MOURA‚ A.L.A.; FEITOSA-SANTANA‚ C.; GUALTIERI‚ M.; LAGO‚ M.; MEDRADO-FARIA‚ M.A.; SILVEIRA‚ L.C.L.; VENTURA‚ D.F. Visual field losses in workers exposed to mercury vapor. Environmental Research, v. 107, n. 1, p. 124-131, 2008.
COSTA‚ M.F.; TOMAZ‚ S.; DE SOUZA‚ J.M.; SILVEIRA‚ L.C.L.; VENTURA‚ D.F. Electrophysiological evidence for impairment of contrast sensitivity in mercury vapor occupational intoxication. Environmental Research, v. 107, n. 1, p. 132-138, 2008.
DORA FIX VENTURA. Visão de cores no primeiro ano de vida. Psicologia USP, v. 18, n. 2, p. 83-97, Jun. 2007.
C. FEITOSA-SANTANA; M.F. COSTA; M. LAGO; D.F. VENTURA. Long-term loss of color vision after exposure to mercury vapor. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, v. 40, n. 3, p. 409-414, Mar. 2007.
E.C. ZACHI; D.F. VENTURA; M.A.M. FARIA; A. TAUB. Neuropsychological dysfunction related to earlier occupational exposure to mercury vapor. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, v. 40, n. 3, p. 425-433, Mar. 2007.
COSTA‚ L.D.F.; BONCI‚ D.M.O.; SAITO‚ C.A.; ROCHA‚ F.A.D.F.; SILVEIRA‚ L.C.D.L.; VENTURA‚ D.F. Voronoi analysis uncovers relationship between mosaics of normally placed and displaced amacrine cells in the thraira retina. NEUROINFORMATICS, v. 5, n. 1, p. 59-77, 2007.
VENTURA‚ D.F.; GUALTIERI‚ M.; OLIVEIRA‚ A.G.F.; COSTA‚ M.F.; QUIROS‚ P.; SADUN‚ F.; DE NEGRI‚ A.M.; SALOMÃO‚ S.R.; BEREZOVSKY‚ A.; SHERMAN‚ J.; OTHERS. Male prevalence of acquired color vision defects in asymptomatic carriers of Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy. INVESTIGATIVE OPHTHALMOLOGY & VISUAL SCIENCE, v. 48, n. 5, p. 2362-2370, 2007.
C.L. TANAN; D.F. VENTURA; J.M. DE SOUZA; S.R. GROTZNER; M. MELA; A. GOUVEIA JR.; C.A. OLIVEIRA-RIBEIRO. Effects of mercury intoxication on the response of horizontal cells of the retina of thraira fish (Hoplias malabaricus). Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, v. 39, n. 7, p. 987-995, Jul. 2006.
D.M.O. BONCI; S.M.A. DE LIMA; S.R. GRÖTZNER; C.A. OLIVEIRA RIBEIRO; D.E. HAMASSAKI; D.F. VENTURA. Losses of immunoreactive parvalbumin amacrine and immunoreactive alphaprotein kinase C bipolar cells caused by methylmercury chloride intoxication in the retina of the tropical fish Hoplias malabaricus. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, v. 39, n. 3, p. 405-410, Mar. 2006.
VENTURA‚ D.F.; QUIROS‚ P.; CARELLI‚ V.; SALOMÃO‚ S.R.; GUALTIERI‚ M.; OLIVEIRA‚ A.G.F.; COSTA‚ M.F.; BEREZOVSKY‚ A.; SADUN‚ F.; DE NEGRI‚ A.M.; OTHERS. Chromatic and luminance contrast sensitivities in asymptomatic carriers from a large Brazilian pedigree of 11778 Leber hereditary optic neuropathy. INVESTIGATIVE OPHTHALMOLOGY & VISUAL SCIENCE, v. 46, n. 12, p. 4809-4814, 2005.

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