Eye News Roundup – September

//Eye News Roundup – September

Eye News Roundup – September

1: Contact Your Contacts Cautiously to Avoid Blindness

You better be conscious if you are a regular user of contacts. Why? Well, a research initiated by the researchers at the UCL and Moorfields Eye Hospital has been able to identify a new outbreak in contact lens wearers. A rare but preventable eye infection, Acanthamoeba Keratitis, capable of causing blindness has been observed to undergo a threefold increase in South-East England since 2011.

Science Daily has more on the story for you.

2:         An Unlikely New Way of Lowering Diabetic Retinopathy Risks for People with Diabetes

A group of Japan based researchers have been able to find out an unlikely way of not only lowering the probability of diabetic retinopathy in people suffering from type 2 diabetes, but also the need for treatment in people already having the condition.

The October issue of “Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism” features the results of this study, which report a significant reduction in the incidence of diabetic retinopathy, around 23%, by using lipid-lowering medication in combination with fibrates and statins, both of them found equally effective.

MedScape covers the rest of this story for you here.

3:          Curing Common Blinding Diseases with a Potential New Technique

Eye diseases like macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy affect macula (the central most part of the retina) by increased permeability of blood vessels, which leads to accumulation of excessive fluid and visual hindrance. Though VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) treatments have boosted clinical care of such vision problems significantly, not all patients respond equally well to these. However, there’s a potential new technique that relies on inhibition of a specific signaling molecule, i.e. “aPKC” (atypical protein kinase C), either pharmacologically or genetically, to the affected macula to achieve significant reduction in vessel permeability and inflammation. According to researchers, this new technique has great potential in curing common blinding diseases.

This new report has been published in ‘The American Journal of Pathology’ and Science Daily covers the details of this new development.

4:         Smartphone Addiction related Dry Eye

Smartphone addiction is quite real, as almost all of you already know about bit, but how about having a scientific study to back up the claim? For example, this one study found a high prevalence between smartphone addiction and related dry eye disease among students of a Hong Kong based medicine university, the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine. A total of 102 students participated in the study whereby 57% of male participants were affected by the smartphone addiction and a 46% of female students.

Healio has covered this interesting story in detail.

5:         Study Identifies the Best Approach to Treat Uveitic Macular Edema

This September’s online issue of “Ophthalmology” featured a study claiming to identify the best approach for uveitic macular edema treatment, i.e. administering corticosteroids injections directly into the eye instead of administering them adjacent to the eye. It is important to note that uvetic macular edema is among the leading causes of blindness in the U.S and this study was led by a group of Mount Sinai based researchers.

More details on this study can be found at Science Daily.

6:         Detecting Diabetic Retinopathy with AI

Artificial intelligence, or AI as it is referred otherwise, seems to be spreading everywhere. Perhaps that is why researchers from Australia tried to exploit the potential of AI in detecting Diabetic Retinopathy (DR). They resorted to an AI system for evaluating 193 patients and 386 images, which were also then studied by an ophthalmologist for comparison. Though it is amazing to see such endeavors being taken, but the results from this particular study are rather mixed, i.e. the IA based system succeeded in successfully diagnosing some cases of mild DR, also giving false positive results for some other cases.

You can find more about this intriguing study at MedScape.

7:         Fish, Diabetic Retinopathy and Asians

There exists a significant correlation among fish intake and Diabetic Retinopathy’s severity in Asian population, according to a recent study conducted in Singapore. It is already an established fact that dietary intake of Asians significantly differs from Europeans and Americans, but not much data existed in the context of the impact of the dietary intake on DR’s severity so far. So, this study was designed and initiated for this purpose, observing the fish intake of 357 of Singapore based participants for a period of 3 years. According to the results of the study, Asian people with type 2 diabetes consuming higher amounts of fish seem to have higher resistance against DR, though the subject needs to be studied further as well.

Visit Healio for further details on the study.

8:         Getting to Know Strabismus at Genetic Level

While researchers have been able to identify and link a few specific genes to some rare forms of strabismus, knowing the genetics of common forms of the disease still remains a far cry. However, this might be about to change, thanks to a new genome-wide association study comprising of some serious efforts based on a decade of hard work involving families with the history of esotropia or cross eye as the foundation level. The discovery of a mysterious variant on chromosome 21 comes as the first solid success story of the study, the first one that can actually be linked to common forms of strabismus.

So, let’s hope for the best and know more about the discovery on Science Daily.

9:         Developmental Stages of Eye Tumor in Children Identified

Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles boasts of identifying the developmental stage of eye tumor within the retina, able to find the exact point in time when abnormal cell growth commences in the retina, growing out to form cancer-like masses. This tumor of the retina, “Retinoblastoma” (RB) targets the eyes of the children under 5 years of age and this new study is believed to open up new avenues of investigation and treatment of retinoblastoma.

More about this recent study can be found at Science Daily.

10:       Cigarette Smoke Might Have a Role in Certain Aspects of Vision Loss

A new study highlights the possibility of chemical ingredients of cigarette smoke making it problematic for people to have clear vision in low-contrast conditions; for instance, fog, low-light conditions and glare. Smoking can result in increased cadmium levels in your blood stream and this research revealed that contrast sensitivity in your vision gets diminished with higher levels of cadmium in the blood. Furthermore, according to the authors of the study, there’s no way to correct this defect in vision until now.

11:      New Gene Therapy for Achromatopsia Gets a Green Light for Human Trials in U.S

A herd of “Awassi” sheep rose to fame back in 2009 when the world got to know those sheep couldn’t see properly during the day, i.e. day blindness of sorts, as discovered by a group of Israel-based researchers. Though the sheep were unable to see in the bright light of the day, they had perfectly well functioning night-vision, i.e. the ability to see in low-light conditions. This is what prompted Prof. Ofri and Professor W.W. Hauswirth of the University of Florida to initiate gene therapy trials for those “day-blind” sheep. Eventually, a virus carrying a normal copy of the missing gene was injected in the sheep, which cured their “Achromatopsia” or day blindness. Owed to its initial success on sheep, FDA has approved human trials of the therapy.

So, cross your fingers and find more details on the subject at Science Daily.


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