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International Foundation for Optic Nerve Disease

Funding research and disseminating information on causes, prevention and treatment.
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Welcome to the IFOND Website

IFOND, the International Foundation for Optic Nerve Disease, is dedicated to the promotion of research into the causes, prevention, and treatment of optic nerve disease, and to the dissemination of information about optic nerve disease.

The IFOND Web site is an information/support center for patients with optic nerve disease and their families, as well as clinicians, scientists and lay persons interested in optic nerve disease.

IFOND has a reference section of links to articles, abstracts other web sites, authorities and institutions. IFOND reprints previously published peer reviewed articles about optic nerve disease. The IFOND Dictionary is our glossary of terms relevant to optic nerve disease with hyperlinks to Wikipedia, PubMed and other references.

Please contact us if you would like to suggest more features for the site, to make contributions, to donate or to apply for research funding.


IFOND sponsors research in optic nerve disease. Our Projects section keeps you up to date in IFOND sponsored research. Check the News for other recent developments in knowledge about optic nerve disease.

Research in optic nerve disease is taking place in laboratories around the world. If you would like to contribute to this effort by volunteering or donating, please contact IFOND. Your help may be of great assistance to the current search for therapies. Thank you for your interest!

Understanding Optic Nerve Disease

The optic nerve is the essential link between eye and brain that makes vision possible. If the optic nerve is seriously affected by disease or damaged through trauma or a tumor, visual loss or blindness may result.

The major optic nerve diseases are:

Toxic Optic Nerve Disease
Ischemic Optic Neuropathy
Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON)

Together, they affect millions of people worldwide. Optic nerve disease of other types are no less important for their impact on individuals and families and for understanding the mechanisms of optic nerve disease.

The understanding and definition of optic nerve disease began to change in the 1980's with a series of neuroscientific discoveries that helped explain the process by which nerve cells, including those in the optic nerve, die. One major cause of nerve cell death is an insufficient supply of energy which nerve cells derive from oxidative metabolism. By depriving optic nerve cells of energy they are prone to a destructive cascade of events which may kill them.

This discovery and related investigations of the mechanisms involved in nerve cell death, have broadened the understanding of how the optic nerve is damaged when it becomes diseased. It is now known that visual loss and blindness may result not only from physical insult (trauma) and decreased blood supply to the optic nerve, but also from disease that originates in the optic nerve itself.

The research in optic nerve disease is promising and exciting to scientists and physicians in many disciplines. They are now involved in research related to further understanding of optic nerve disease, prevention, and therapy. Therapies designed to protect the optic nerve from disease are being developed.

Efficient funding

IFOND is an extremely lean, all volunteer 501(c)(3) tax status registered nonprofit. We have no salaried associates. Our process minimizes costs and maximizes funding for researchers' direct, non administrative expenses. All donations are tax deductible in the United States of America. Our recent tax returns are searchable here e.g. latest IRS website listed year 2021 here. Tax Year 2022 Form 990EZ and Tax Year 2022 IRS Filing Acceptance . Also see here. Our scientific board includes many of the prominent world leading published researchers in optic neuropathies. If this big bang for your buck model appeals to you, please donate. If you are a researcher in optic neuropathy, we welcome your funding application.

IFOND welcomes questions and comments
Welcome | Impact | Glaucoma | LHON | Toxic | Ischaemic | Projects | Donors | Coping | Glossary | Links | Use | About | Contact | Donate

Donate to IFOND sponsored research. You can designate which area of current IFOND activities to direct your funds:
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donate directly to IFOND at the address below:

The International Foundation for Optic Nerve Disease
P. O. Box 777, Cornwall NY 12518, USA.
Phone/Fax: (845)5348606
Web site:

IFOND is registered service mark of The International Foundation for Optic Nerve Disease, est. October 1995.

Copyright 1999-2024, International Foundation for Optic Nerve Disease.

The information contained on this website should not be considered medical guidance or professional advice. IFOND is not responsible for errors or omissions in information provided on this site or actions resulting from its use. IFOND does not publish all information from all available sources on optic nerve disease. IFOND is not responsible for the validity of the studies or reviews nor is it an advocate of studies or reviews mentioned on or linked from the IFOND web site. IFOND does not endorse or recommend participation in any particular clinical trial or treatment protocol which may be mentioned on this site. Direct any questions concerning your personal health to your appropriate health care professional.