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Archives Of Ophthalmology News Blog From Medicineworld.Org


December 6, 2006, 8:13 PM CT

New Treatment Approaches For Glaucoma

New Treatment Approaches For Glaucoma
New research from Children's Hospital Boston and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) may help explain how glaucoma causes blindness, revealing the chain of cellular and molecular events that ultimately damage the optic nerve, preventing visual information from traveling from the eye to the brain. The study, done in mice, indicates possible targets for intervention, including an inflammatory molecule called tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), which is already targeted by some existing drugs.

"These findings give a whole new approach to thinking about glaucoma treatment," says Joan Miller, MD, chief of Ophthalmology at the MEEI and a coauthor of the study, which will appear online December 6 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Glaucoma affects an estimated 3 million Americans, and it's speculated that an equal number of people are affected but undiagnosed. The disease is six to eight times more common in African-Americans (in whom it is the leading cause of blindness) than in Caucasians, and six times more common in people over age 60 than in younger people. The primary risk factor for glaucoma is increased pressure in the eye, measured by the familiar "puff" test and other screening examinations. If glaucoma is diagnosed early, eyedrops or surgery to lower intraocular pressure can often prevent further optic-nerve damage and halt vision loss. However, it has not been understood how the increased pressure leads to optic-nerve damage.........

Posted by: Mike      Permalink         Source


November 30, 2006, 4:30 AM CT

Predicting The Risk Of Glaucoma

Predicting The Risk Of Glaucoma
Investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a model to identify patients at high risk of developing glaucoma. Their research was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Las Vegas.

The model that predicts glaucoma risk relies on five key risk factors. It was developed using data from two landmark clinical trials: the Ocular High blood pressure Treatment Study (OHTS) and the European Glaucoma Prevention Study (EGPS).

"The Ocular High blood pressure Treatment Study was really designed to answer two questions," says Michael A. Kass, M.D., national chair of the 22-center study and head of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine. "We wanted to learn whether preventive therapy could reduce the occurence rate of glaucoma, and we also wanted to learn whether we could determine what risk factors might help us predict which patients will go on to develop glaucoma."

The first question was answered more than four years ago when the results of the OHTS study were announced. That study had looked at patients at risk for glaucoma because of high pressure in the eyes. Kass and his colleagues concluded at that time that treating those people with pressure-lowering eye drops could delay, or possibly even prevent, glaucoma.........

Posted by: Mike      Permalink         Source


November 10, 2006, 5:09 AM CT

Artificial Protein Shows Promise For Cancer

Artificial Protein Shows Promise For Cancer Balamurali K. Ambati
Potentially blinding blood vessel growth in the cornea resulting from eye injury or even surgery can be reduced by more than 50 percent with a new manmade protein, scientists say.

"We believe eventually we'll be able to use this protein to help patients in a number of situations where blood vessel formation is detrimental, including cancer, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration," says Dr. Balamurali K. Ambati, corneal specialist at the Medical College of Georgia and Augusta Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Ambati is corresponding author of the study reported in the recent issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

The body can produce new blood vessels to promote healing after trauma, such as a corneal transplant, a significant corneal scratch from a contact lens or retinal oxygen deprivation caused by diabetes or aging. This natural response, called angiogenesis, becomes detrimental when new growth obstructs vision or when a tumor pirates the process to survive.

In an animal model, scientists used the protein they developed to reverse obstructive growth as long as one month after injury, says Dr. Ambati. That's a very long time after injury in a mouse's lifetime, indicating even well-established blood vessels are susceptible to intraceptor-mediated regression, he says.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


November 7, 2006, 4:38 AM CT

Progress On Retinal Degenerative Diseases

Progress On Retinal Degenerative Diseases
In an unprecedented animal research study, scientists at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, and the Atlanta VA Hospital have used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to produce images of the eyes retinal layers. The research, which will publish in an online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has the potential to revolutionize the way retinal degenerative diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, are diagnosed and treated. Accelerating detection and therapy of such diseases ultimately could help prevent vision loss.

"Currently available technologies for capturing images of the retina, such as fundus photography, allow doctors to view only surface vessels and structures," said lead researcher Timothy Q. Duong, PhD, director of magnetic resonance research at Yerkes and associate professor of neurology and radiology at Emory. "The most serious retinal diseases that cause vision loss, however, attack various cellular levels within the retina. Consequently, these diseases often are diagnosed only in the late stages, after irreversible damage has occurred," he continued.

To penetrate the deep layers of the retina and produce clear images, Dr. Duong and his research team made significant improvements in spatial resolution and sensitivity using Yerkes state-of-the-art MRI technology. These improvements enabled them to non-invasively image structural oxygenation and functional changes in the rodent retinas and detect layer-specific changes in an animal model of retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disease that affects approximately 1.5 million people worldwide.........

Posted by: Mike      Permalink         Source


November 2, 2006, 5:17 AM CT

Breakthrough In Eye Cancer Treatment

Breakthrough In Eye Cancer Treatment
Researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have demonstrated in a mouse model a new, locally applied therapy for the eye cancer retinoblastoma that not only greatly reduces the size of the tumor, but does so without causing the side effects common with standard chemotherapy. The therapy also appears to be suitable for certain forms of breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer, and is simple enough for widespread use even in countries with limited resources.

A report on this work appears in the Nov. 2 issue of the journal Nature.

Retinoblastoma occurs in about 5,000 young children worldwide each year, arising from the immature retina, which is the part of the eye responsible for detecting light and color. The cancer is fatal if left untreated.

The new therapy holds promise for a simpler, more effective and less-toxic therapy for retinoblastoma that would eliminate the need for the current, complex treatment, as per senior author Michael Dyer, Ph.D., a Pew Scholar and associate member of the St. Jude Department of Developmental Neurobiology. The therapy is based on a discovery by Dyer's laboratory that overturned a widely held belief about the process of apoptosis (cell suicide) in retinoblastoma. Apoptosis is the way the body rids itself of abnormal cells that might become malignant or cause other problems.........

Posted by: Mike      Permalink         Source


October 26, 2006, 5:13 AM CT

3-D monitor vision test for children

3-D monitor vision test for children
A new random-dot stereotest using a 3D display and infrared oculography has been found to objectively assess stereopsis in children older than three years as per an article reported in the November 2006 issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS).

The study involved 56 children, 38 with various visual impairments and 18 with normal vision. Study participants were seated on their mother's lap or alone with their heads stabilized by a chin and front rest. Unlike many other tests, this new 3D monitor stereotest does not require disassociating glasses that children often find cumbersome. The random dot stimulus was presented on an autostereoscopic display which allows viewing of full-color 3D images. The stimulus recognition was objectively assessed using infrared photo-oculography. The overall accuracy of the test was found to be 95 percent.

If applicable to preverbal children, the new test may permit study of the development of stereovision under natural conditions since no glasses are necessary to see the stimuli. The new test may be useful for the objective measurement of the sensory outcome following the therapy of ophthalmic disorders in the pediatric age group. It is also a potential substitute for the Lang I and II Test and the Radom-dot E Test, which require verbal capabilities from the subject tested.........

Posted by: Mike      Permalink         Source


October 25, 2006, 4:38 AM CT

Study On Leading Cause Of Vision Loss

Study On Leading Cause Of Vision Loss
UT Southwestern Medical Center is participating in a nationwide study investigating whether modified combinations of vitamins, minerals and fish oil products can slow the progression of vision loss from age-related macular degeneration.

"This study will evaluate nutrient-based factors that may influence the development and progression of the two most prevalent age-related eye diseases, age-related macular degeneration and cataracts," said Dr. Yu-Guang He, an ophthalmologist and principal investigator of the study at UT Southwestern.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, will build upon results from an earlier study that found high-dose antioxidant vitamins and minerals taken orally reduced the risk of AMD progression by 25 percent and the risk of moderate vision loss by 19 percent. That study involved vitamins C and E, beta carotene, zinc and copper.

The new study will examine whether adding lutein and zeaxanthin (derived from plants) and omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA (derived from fish oil) decreases progression to advanced AMD, which often leads to vision loss. It will also consider the effect these supplements have on cataract and moderate vision loss.

"Everybody talks about the potential benefit of these supplements, but there's no solid evidence for that, no clinical evidence so far," said Dr. He, assistant professor of ophthalmology and director of the Retina Fellowship Program. "This study is going to try to resolve that".........

Posted by: Mike      Permalink         Source


October 12, 2006, 10:15 PM CT

Leading Reason For Corneal Transplants

Leading Reason For Corneal Transplants
Guided by families with an unusual number of cases, researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered the genetic origins of at least one form of Fuchs corneal dystrophy, FCD, the leading reason for corneal transplantation in the United States.

In one form or another, FCD's trademark deterioration of the cells covering the clear, outermost lens of the eye affects more than 4 percent of the population over 40. Late in life, the dystrophy causes swelling of the cornea and can severely affect vision, making it impossible to see well even with glasses or contact lenses. It's believed that various forms of FCD are due to multiple gene mutations.

In a report in the recent issue of Investigative Ophthalmology, a team led by Hopkins ophthalmologist John Gottsch, M.D., says they were able to map a common form of Fuchs, found most often in women, to chromosome 18.

"Finding this chromosomal locus is putting us in the right neighborhood to find culprit genes," says Gottsch. "Now we have to start knocking on every door".

Gottsch is heartened by success with earlier Fuchs gene-hunting studies. The Hopkins group tracked down its first FCD-related gene in a Virginia family with multiple, early onset cases. That gene, labeled COL8A2, was mapped to chromosome 1.........

Posted by: Mike      Permalink         Source


October 12, 2006, 4:50 AM CT

Antioxidants And Fish Oil On AMD

Antioxidants And Fish Oil On AMD
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces a nationwide study to see if a modified combination of vitamins, minerals, and fish oil can further slow the progression of vision loss from AMD, the leading cause of vision loss in the United States for people over age 60. This new study, called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2), will build upon results from the earlier Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). The original study results were released five years ago today. The study observed that high-dose antioxidant vitamins and minerals (vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper), taken by mouth, reduced the risk of progression to advanced AMD by 25 percent, and the risk of moderate vision loss by 19 percent.

AREDS2 will refine the findings of the original study by adding lutein and zeaxanthin (plant-derived yellow pigments that accumulate in the macula, the small area responsible for central vision near the center of the retina) and the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA (derived from fish and vegetable oils) to the study formulation. The main study objective is to determine if these nutrients will decrease a person's risk of progression to advanced AMD, which often leads to vision loss. Prior findings based on observation have suggested these nutrients may protect vision.........

Posted by: Mike      Permalink         Source


October 11, 2006, 5:22 AM CT

Innovative Surgery Corrects Vision

Innovative Surgery Corrects Vision Lawrence Tychsen performs a visual examination of a young patient in his clinic.
Children with cerebral palsy and other neurological problems often have extremely poor eyesight. Their ability to read, pick up objects and "see" the world is so impaired and complicated to treat that a number of go untreated, even though they may be legally blind.

Janice Brunstrom, M.D., assistant professor of neurology and pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Loius and a neurologist at St. Louis Children's Hospital, saw firsthand how her patients' poor vision interfered with every aspect of their daily lives. Having cerebral palsy herself and wanting to help reverse the isolation that a number of of these children endure because of their poor vision, she approached pediatric ophthalmologist Lawrence Tychsen, M.D., to help devise some solutions.

He did. Tychsen, professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, of pediatrics and of neurobiology and ophthalmologist in chief at St. Louis Children's Hospital, developed specialized testing and now does vision correction, or refractive surgery, on children with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and neurobehavioral disorders such as autism. To date, St. Louis Children's Hospital is one of the only U.S. medical centers performing refractive surgery on these children and has the highest volume, operating on about 60 special-needs children a year.........

Posted by: Mike      Permalink         Source



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