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Special Issue "Vision and Visual Health under the Influence of Tobacco, Alcohol and Other Substances"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2023 | Viewed by 6303

Special Issue Editors

Dr. José J. Castro-Torres
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Vision Sciences and Applications, Department of Optics, University of Granada, 18010 Granada, Spain
Interests: visual performance; binocular vision; night vision; retinal-image quality; alcohol consumption; substance use.
Dr. Miriam Casares-López
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Vision Sciences and Applications, Department of Optics, University of Granada, 18010 Granada, Spain
Interests: visual impairment; eye disease; alcohol consumption; driving under the Influence (DUI); aging eye; substance use; psychoactive substances

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

According to the World Health Organization, the harmful use of alcohol, tobacco and other psychoactive substances is one the main factors having an impact on population health. The use of alcohol and other psychoactive substances have an important impact on different body functions, including the nervous system; thus, it is clear that visual function will be affected under the influence of these substances. While depressant drugs, such as alcohol, are related with visual impairment, stimulating substances, such as caffeine, may lead to an improvement of certain visual aspects. However, the interactions between substance use and the mechanisms involved in visual performance are complex and, in some cases, not fully understood. On the other hand, many factors can also influence the way in which vision is affected by psychoactive substances (the amount consumed, age, gender, weight, food intake, substances co-use, or usage habits, among others) and therefore, they should be considered as well.

The aim of this Special Issue is to provide new information about the influence of alcohol, tobacco and other substances in vision and visual health. This information would provide a better understanding of the role of visual impairment in risky situations, especially involving DUI behaviors. Researchers are invited to submit original research and review articles regarding aspects of visual and ocular changes related to substance use and/or abuse. Contributions about the importance of such changes in visual-related activities are also expected.

Disclaimer: We will not accept research funded in part or full by any tobacco companies in this Special Issue. For more details, please check https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/15/12/2831/htm.

Dr. José J. Castro-Torres
Dr. Miriam Casares-López
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • visual performance
  • ocular changes
  • vision
  • visual health
  • eye disease
  • alcohol consumption
  • tobacco and other substances
  • substance use
  • psychoactive substances

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Tonic Endocannabinoid Levels Modulate Retinal Signaling
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12460; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912460 - 30 Sep 2022
Viewed by 474
Abstract
The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is critically involved in the modulation of synaptic transmission in the central nervous system, playing an important role in the control of emotional responses, neurodevelopment and synaptic plasticity among other functions. The eCB system is also present in the [...] Read more.
The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is critically involved in the modulation of synaptic transmission in the central nervous system, playing an important role in the control of emotional responses, neurodevelopment and synaptic plasticity among other functions. The eCB system is also present in the retina, with studies indicating changes in function after application of cannabinoid receptor agonists, antagonists and in knockout models. Whether eCBs are tonically released in the retina and their physiological functions is, however, still unknown. We investigated the role of the eCB system in the modulation of response strength of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) to light stimulation, their receptive field organization, contrast sensitivity and excitability properties by performing whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in mouse RGCs before and after bath application of URB597, an inhibitor of the enzyme that degrades the eCB anandamide. Our results show that URB597 application leads to a reduction in the strength of synaptic inputs onto RGCs but paradoxically increases RGC excitability. In addition, URB597 was shown to modulate receptive field organization and contrast sensitivity of RGCs. We conclude that tonically released eCBs modulate retinal signaling by acting on traditional cannabinoid receptors (CB1R/CB2R) as well as on non-cannabinoid receptor targets. Thus, a thorough understanding of the effects of drugs that alter the endogenous cannabinoid levels and of exogenous cannabinoids is necessary to fully comprehend the impact of their medical as well as recreational use on vision. Full article
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Article
Chromatic Contrast Sensitivity Functions and Colour Discrimination in Smoker Patients
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(12), 6991; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19126991 - 07 Jun 2022
Viewed by 773
Abstract
In this study, effects of smoking on colour vision with the Farnsworth–Munsell 100 Hue test (FM100h) and achromatic (A), red-green (RG), and blue-yellow (BY) contrast sensitivity functions were evaluated. In total, 50 non-smoker controls and 25 smokers, divided into two groups (group 1, [...] Read more.
In this study, effects of smoking on colour vision with the Farnsworth–Munsell 100 Hue test (FM100h) and achromatic (A), red-green (RG), and blue-yellow (BY) contrast sensitivity functions were evaluated. In total, 50 non-smoker controls and 25 smokers, divided into two groups (group 1, less than 10 cigarettes per day, with 15 patients, and group 2, >10 cigarettes per day, with 10 patients) took part in the experiments. Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), FM100h, and A, RG, and BY contrast sensitivity functions were measured. Total and partial RG and BY error scores (TES and PTES) and colour axis index (CA) were used in the analysis. No differences between smoker and non-smoker groups were found in BCVA, CA and A and BY contrast sensitivity, but TES and PTES values and RG contrast sensitivity at 1 cpd were statistically different. Differences between smoker groups were not significant. Error scores in smokers were positively correlated with the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and in BY also with age. Tobacco caused discrimination losses in both chromatic mechanisms but affected the red-green pathway more than the blue-yellow, and therefore, a partial RG score of FM100h test seems to be a good predictor of smoker colour deficiencies. Full article
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Article
Multi-Elemental Analysis of Human Optic Chiasm—A New Perspective to Reveal the Pathomechanism of Nerve Fibers’ Degeneration
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4420; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074420 - 06 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1258
Abstract
The effect of metals on the functioning of the human eye is multifactorial and includes enzyme activity modulation, trace metal metabolic pathways changes, and cytotoxic activity. Functional dysfunctions appear mostly as a result of the accumulation of toxic xenobiotic metals or disturbances of [...] Read more.
The effect of metals on the functioning of the human eye is multifactorial and includes enzyme activity modulation, trace metal metabolic pathways changes, and cytotoxic activity. Functional dysfunctions appear mostly as a result of the accumulation of toxic xenobiotic metals or disturbances of micronutrients’ homeostasis. So far, the affinity of selected metals to eye tissues, i.e., the cornea, choroid, lens, and anterior chamber fluid, has been most studied. However, it is known that many eye symptoms are related to damage to the optic nerve. In order to fill this gap, the aim of the study is to perform a multi-element analysis of tissue collected postmortem from optic chiasm and optic nerves. A total of 178 samples from 107 subjects were tested. The concentrations of 51 elements were quantified by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) after the wet-mineralization step. In terms of elemental composition, the optic chiasm is dominated by two trace elements, i.e., iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn), besides macro-elements Ca, K, Na, P, and Mg. The subjects formed a homogeneous cluster (over 70% subjects) with the highest accumulation of aluminum (Al). The remaining two departing clusters were characterized by an increased content of most of the elements, including toxic elements such as bismuth (Bi), uranium (U), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), and cadmium (Cd). Changes in elemental composition with age were analyzed statistically for the selected groups, i.e., females, males, and subjects with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and without AUD. A tendency of women to lose Se, Cu, Zn, Fe with age was observed, and a disturbed Ca/Mg, Na/K ratio in subjects with AUD. Although the observed trends were not statistically significant, they shed new light on the risks and possible pathologies associated with metal neurotoxicity in the visual tract. Full article
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Article
Changes in Visual Performance under the Effects of Moderate–High Alcohol Consumption: The Influence of Biological Sex
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6790; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136790 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1314
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to analyze the changes in visual functions under the effects of moderate–high breath alcohol concentrations (BrACs), and the influence of biological sex on visual deterioration, considering different factors. A total of 37 healthy habitual alcohol users were [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to analyze the changes in visual functions under the effects of moderate–high breath alcohol concentrations (BrACs), and the influence of biological sex on visual deterioration, considering different factors. A total of 37 healthy habitual alcohol users were enrolled in the experiment. The participants underwent a baseline session and a second session after an intake of 450 mL of red wine, so that all of them reached a BrAC above 0.25 mg/L. Visual performance was assessed by measuring the contrast sensitivity function, the halo perception, the stereopsis, and finally the retinal image quality. A Visual Deterioration Score (VDS) was calculated using the deterioration of these visual variables. All visual functions analyzed were significantly impaired following alcohol consumption (p < 0.05). The VDS was associated with the BrAC (ρ = −0.476). The VDS was also significantly higher in females, with the BrAC having a significant effect on the variability of the VDS in males and females (p < 0.05). However, the body mass index showed no significant effect (p > 0.05). Visual functions were significantly impaired under the influence of alcohol, and this deterioration was greater in females. The deterioration depends on the BrAC reached, being the primary thing responsible for the differences observed between males and females. Full article
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Review

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Review
Toxic and Nutritional Optic Neuropathies—An Updated Mini-Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 3092; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19053092 - 06 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1611
Abstract
Optic neuropathies constitute a group of conditions with various etiologies and might be caused by different factors; we can distinguish the genetic and acquired causes of optic neuropathies. Even though the symptoms are not highly specific, this condition is primarily characterized by unilateral [...] Read more.
Optic neuropathies constitute a group of conditions with various etiologies and might be caused by different factors; we can distinguish the genetic and acquired causes of optic neuropathies. Even though the symptoms are not highly specific, this condition is primarily characterized by unilateral or bilateral vision loss with worsening color detection. The loss may be acute or gradual depending on the causation. In this article, we included a specification of toxic optic neuropathy (TON) mainly triggered by alcohol abuse and also the usage of other substances, including drugs or methanol, as well as intoxication by metals, organic solvents, or carbon dioxide. Nutritional deficiencies, vitamin absorption disorder, and anemia, which usually appear during excessive alcohol intake, and their effect on the etiology of the optic neuropathy have been likewise discussed. Full article
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