The secrets of ocular hypertension and normal pressure glaucoma: the role of optic nerve head perfusion
Pr. Nomdo Jansonius (Ophthalmology);
Pr. Pim van Dijk (Otorhinolaryngology)
Background and interests
My name is Konstantinos Pappelis and I come from Athens, Greece. I graduated with a Medical Degree from the National ‘Kapodestrian’ University of Athens and joined the University of Groningen in January 2017 to pursue my PhD studies. My main interest is Ophthalmology (in which I plan to specialize after the completion of my PhD) in both clinics and science. My previous clinical and research interests involved robotic surgery, as well as bariatric and metabolic surgery and its benefits in patients with type-II diabetes mellitus. At the same time, I graduated from the National Conservatory of Athens with degrees in Piano Performance and Composition. Parallel to my studies, I also developed a strong aptitude for Mathematics: I have been awarded the Bronze Medal in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), the International Mathematics Competition (IMC) and numerous other contests as a member of the National Team of my country. I have also been the tutor of subsequent award-winning members. Combining Medicine, Mathematics and Music has not been easy, but it has certainly been fulfilling.
Aim of the project
The classical concept of an elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) as the sole cause of glaucoma is outdated, or at least incomplete. Some people develop glaucoma without an increase in IOP (normal-tension glaucoma [NTG]), others do not develop glaucoma despite the presence of a clearly elevated IOP (ocular hypertension [OHT]). These observations have resulted in hypotheses that involve perfusion of the optic nerve head and/or the pressure gradient over the lamina cribrosa. In this project we deal with the physiology of the blood supply, oxygenation and vascular autoregulation in the retina, by means of novel experimental technology (including Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography and custom Scanning Laser Oximetry). Our goal is to decide which patients are at higher risk of developing glaucoma, based on their blood pressure and vascular profiles, thus improving treatment decisions.