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Eye News Roundup – June, Week 1

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Eye News Roundup – June, Week 1

1: Don’t Wanna Die Early? Start Catching Up Lost Sleep on Weekends

Dying is one idea almost all sane humans don’t seem much fond of, and quite rightly so, since you get only one chance at it, right? What about sleeping a bit more on weekends and improve your odds against the risk of premature death?

Sabrina Barr of talks of this study, according to which shutting your eyes for a little bit longer than usual on weekends can help you in counteracting the negative effects of sleep deprivation accumulated through the whole week.

Researchers, under the supervision of Professor Torbjörn Åkerstedt of the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University, carried out this study in a bid to better understand how an individual’s mortality rate corresponds with lack of sleep through the week and during weekend.

Professor Torbjörn’s team gathered and assessed data from 43,880 participants in a study spanned over 13 years, which also contained information regarding the participant’s health and sleeping habits.

The study concluded that mortality rate in people below the age of 65 taking five hours or less of sleep at the weekend was 52% higher compared to the ones taking six or seven hours of sleep.

Interestingly, mortality rate in people taking shorter sleeps during the week and longer sleeps over the weekend was found similar to those consistently taking six or seven hours’ sleep.

Another peculiarity highlighted by the results of the study was that people taking more than 8 hours of sleep regularly exhibited higher mortality rate.

To get the rest of this interesting study, visit the INDEPENDENT.

2: Recently Identified Genetic Variants May Help Predict Glaucoma Risk

Glaucoma, an eye disease ranked as the number one cause of incurable blindness across the globe, has also affected well over 3 million Americans, with 2.7 million of them are aged 40 or above. One of the worst things about Glaucoma is that it is virtually symptom-less through its early stages, where the victim doesn’t even feel pain.

All these things make detecting it very challenging, but perhaps the whole scenario is about to be changed as a result of a study carried out by researchers from King’s College London, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, University College London and Harvard Medical School, which has led to the identification of 133 genetic variants capable of helping predict the risk of developing glaucoma.

According to a publication in EurekAlert, researchers examined the data collected from 140,000 people to identify these genetic variants, potentially paving the way for a genetic-based screening program.

Based on these genetic variations, researchers succeeded in predicting a person’s probability of developing glaucoma with 75% accuracy and now they are hopeful that this discovery can help in fast and accurate diagnosis of glaucoma in millions of patients around the globe.

More about this intriguing discovery is available at EurekAlert!.

3: Correlation between Cataract and Serum Lipid Concentration

In a recent study carried out at a Shanghai based university hospital in a large cohort of Chinese population, serum lipid concentration has been identified as an independent risk factor with the potential to influence age related cataract, Michela Cimberle from reports.

The study involved 437 participants, 218 control subjects along with 219 patients suffering from age-related cataract. The two groups did not significantly differ in gender, age, smoking and drinking habits. However, a significant difference was there in dietary habits, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and body mass index.

Both genders in cataract group displayed significantly higher levels of triglyceride, cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and serum apolipoprotein A compared to the female and male participants of the control group. As a result of logistic regression analysis, triglyceride, high low-density lipoprotein and cholesterol were identified as independent risk factors for age-related cataract.

Earlier, cataract and blood lipid concentration correlation has always been widely debated as an independent risk factor marred with uncertainty and diversity. However, this study has been able to establish a correlation between them clearly and definitely, laying foundations of further studies.

You can get more on this story on Healio.

4: Increasing Ocular Melanoma Cases – A Cause of Concern?

Dan T. Gudgel of AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPHTHALMOLOGY breaks this story about an unusual increase in Ocular Melanoma cases in and around Huntersville, N.C., and Auburn, Ala. However, a medical oncologist, Marlana Orloff, MD, who handled dozens of patients, is uncertain as yet about any connection solidly linking all the cases.

Around 2,000 to 2,500 US citizens are diagnosed with ocular melanoma, a rare cancer affecting human eyes, as reported by the Ocular Melanoma Foundation.

CBS News aired views of four alumni of Auburn University to get their take on this intriguing ocular melanoma breakout. It is important to note that all four women were diagnosed with ocular melanoma at significantly younger ages than normally expected in such incidents.

Nonetheless, the Alabama Department of Health insisted, while interacting with CBS News that these occurrences can’t be referred as a cancer cluster as yet, while North Carolina and Alabama state health officials along with a task force at Auburn University are still busy investing the matter.

Michael Brenna, MD, a senior ophthalmologist involved with North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ research shared about 18 confirmed cases over there, still unable to found a reasonable explanation of why these incidents are being reported at a rate higher than normal.

To get further details of this ocular melanoma outbreak, visit AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPHTHALMOLOGY.

5: New Aspects to be Uncovered, Thanks to a Recently Discovered Genetic Cause of Corneal Dystrophy

Scientists at Moorfields and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology are being credited with discovery of a new genetic cause of Corneal Dystrophy. Also referred collectively as corneal endothelial dystrophies, these belong to a group of inherited eye disorders that damage the endothelium, constituted by thinly layered specialized cells lining the back of the cornea as a single layer. The endothelium plays a pivotal role in maintenance of transparency in the clear surface of the cornea.

The research team resorted to previously unused techniques of sequencing human genome, which led to the discovery of the genetic cause of PPCD (Posterior Polymorphous Corneal Dystrophy), a rare form of the corneal dystrophy, which can also result in severe sight loss.

This research has been supported by two charities, i.e. Moorfields Eye Charity and Fight for Sight Charity.

Ophthalmologists not only in the US, but across the globe are seeing this discovery as a major breakthrough in fight against corneal dystrophy, with the hope to develop enhanced treatments against the disease very soon.

They are valuing this study not only to better understand what’s required for a healthy cornea and how this disease affects it, but also for a significant advance in human genetics.

More on this new discovery can be found at Moorfields Eye Hospital.