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Eye / Vision Problems

FDA approves combo eye drop for glaucoma

Drug News • • Eye / Vision ProblemsOct 31 07

U.S. regulators approved a new glaucoma treatment—Combigan, an eye drop that treats the potentially blinding eye condition with two drugs that work through different mechanisms, Allergan Inc said Wednesday.

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Scientists Eye Secrets of Retinal Regeneration

Eye / Vision ProblemsSep 13 07

Peering at microscopic changes within the retina, scientists in the Department of Ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, have discovered a key mechanism driving eye health and eye disease.

Reporting in the cover article of a recent edition of Cell, the team says they have discovered just how light-sensing discs in the retina’s rod cells regenerate themselves.

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Glaucoma surgery in the blink of an eye

Eye / Vision Problems • • SurgerySep 11 07

Prof. Ehud Assia, of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine is, quite simply, a rock star in the field of eye surgery.

One of a small number of surgeons in the world who currently perform a complicated form of glaucoma surgery, Prof. Assia has developed a novel laser device that promises to revolutionize treatment of the disease. The laser, called the OTS134 for now, is expected to give most practicing eye surgeons the ability to master complex glaucoma surgery very quickly.

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Miniature Implanted Devices Could Treat Epilepsy, Glaucoma

Epilepsy • • Eye / Vision ProblemsAug 08 07

Purdue University researchers have developed new miniature devices designed to be implanted in the brain to predict and prevent epileptic seizures and a nanotech sensor for implantation in the eye to treat glaucoma.

Findings will be detailed in three research papers being presented at the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society’s Sciences and Technologies for Health conference from Aug. 23-26 in Lyon, France.

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Link identified between Alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma

Brain • • Eye / Vision Problems • • NeurologyAug 06 07

UK scientists have shown for the first time that key proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease are also implicated in glaucoma, the major cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Research carried out at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and funded by the Wellcome Trust has also shown that novel drugs being trialled for Alzheimer’s disease which target this protein may be used to treat glaucoma.

The research team has developed a new technology for visualising nerve cell damage in the retina, known as Detection of Apoptosing Retinal Cells. Using this technology, they demonstrated that the protein beta-amyloid, which causes the so-called “plaque” lesions in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, also leads to nerve cell death in the retina. The research is published online today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

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Dietary carbs linked to vision loss

Dieting • • Eye / Vision ProblemsJul 30 07

The carbohydrates present in a diet can influence the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of vision loss in older adults, according to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“AMD appears to share several carbohydrate-related mechanisms and risk factors with diabetes-related diseases, including (eye) and cardiovascular disease,” write Dr. Allen Taylor, of Tufts University, Boston, and colleagues. “However, to date, only one small study has addressed this issue.”

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Eye test causes severe lethargy in infants

Children's Health • • Eye / Vision ProblemsJul 16 07

New research suggests that an eyedrop used to diagnose a rare syndrome in infants can cause severe lethargy lasting up to 10 hours and requiring hospital admission and oxygen administration. In the article “Adverse Effects of Apraclonidine Used in the Diagnosis of Horner Syndrome in Infants”, published in the June issue of Journal of AAPOS (Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus), Dr. Patrick Watts and coauthors described five cases of extreme drowsiness or unresponsiveness after infants under 6 months of age were administered 1% apraclonidine eyedrops.

Apraclonidine was developed to lower intraocular pressure and minimize the systemic side effects associated with the use of its parent drug, clonidine. An investigation of the site of action of apraclonidine incidentally uncovered a reversal of anisocoria in patients with Horner syndrome, a neurologic condition that causes a small pupil and a drooping eyelid on one side of the face. David G. Hunter, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of AAPOS explains, “Horner syndrome is very rare in infants, but testing occurs frequently, so it is very important that ophthalmologists and neurologists are made aware of this complication.”

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Triple therapy useful for blindness disorder

Eye / Vision ProblemsJun 28 07

A single session of photodynamic therapy plus injections of the drugs bevacizumab (Avastin) and triamcinolone into the eye may improve or stabilize the vision of patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a study shows.

AMD is the most common cause of blindness in adults 55 years of age and older. Neovascular or “wet” AMD accounts for just 8 percent of cases, but is responsible for 85 percent of the severe vision loss caused by the disease. Photodynamic therapy, a popular treatment for the condition, uses light energy to reduce the abnormal blood vessel formation that occurs in the disease.

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Can Blindness be Prevented Through Diet?

Dieting • • Eye / Vision ProblemsJun 25 07

Increasing intake of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, found in popular fish-oil supplements, may protect against blindness resulting from abnormal blood vessel growth in the eye, according to a study published online by the journal Nature Medicine on June 24.

The study was done in mice, but a clinical trial at Children’s Hospital Boston will soon begin testing the effects of omega-3 supplementation in premature babies, who are at risk for vision loss.

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Biologists Trace Cause Of Early Blindness To Tissue Defect

Eye / Vision ProblemsMar 08 07

Researchers at Texas A&M University are shedding light on a rare form of early blindness, identifying the cells involved and paving the way for possible therapies to treat or even prevent what is currently an incurable disease.

The findings, funded by Fight for Sight and the National Institutes of Health, are published in the March 5-9 online Early Edition (EE) of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Glaucoma patients at significantly higher risk for falls, motor vehicle accidents

Eye / Vision ProblemsMar 01 07

Persons affected by glaucoma are over three times more likely to have been involved in falls and motor vehicle accidents than persons of the same age without the condition, say researchers from Dalhousie University in Canada. Their findings are published in the March 2007 issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

The study involved 48 patients 50 years of age or older with glaucoma and 47 age-matched persons without the eye disease. Glaucoma patients were almost three times as likely to have experienced one or more falls in the previous year and over six times as likely to have been involved in one or more motor vehicle accidents in the previous five years. They were also more likely to have been at-fault for motor vehicle accidents in which they were involved. The strongest risk factor for these motor vehicle accidents was impaired useful field of view.

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Action Video Games Sharpen Vision 20 Percent

Children's Health • • Eye / Vision ProblemsFeb 06 07

Video games that contain high levels of action, such as Unreal Tournament, can actually improve your vision.

Researchers at the University of Rochester have shown that people who played action video games for a few hours a day over the course of a month improved by about 20 percent in their ability to identify letters presented in clutter - a visual acuity test similar to ones used in regular ophthalmology clinics.

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Drug shows promise against diabetic eye condition

Diabetes • • Drug News • • Eye / Vision ProblemsJan 03 07

Eye injections of the drug Lucentis (also known as ranibizumab) appear to be useful in the treatment of a potentially blinding eye condition called macular edema that can afflict people with diabetes, a small study suggests.

“The results are impressive,” lead author Dr. Quan Dong Nguyen, from Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore, said in a statement. However, “we will not know until we begin a larger clinical trial what the long-term benefits of the drug might be.”

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Older women with bad vision at greater death risk

Eye / Vision Problems • • Gender: FemaleDec 28 06

Older women with poor eyesight have a greater likelihood of dying over a given period than similar women with better vision, a new study shows.

Vision loss occurs with aging, and is known to increase the risk of falls and fractures, Kathryn L. Pedula of Kaiser Permanente Northwest in Portland, Oregon and colleagues note in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Genetics a key factor in premature infants’ devastating eye disease

Eye / Vision Problems • • GeneticsNov 22 06

Genetics play a major role in predisposing infants to retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a disease prevalent in premature infants that disrupts normal blood vessel development of the retina and can lead to blindness, researchers at Yale School of Medicine report in the November issue of Pediatrics.

“This is the first definitive study to show that genetic factors are a significant component of ROP, and to quantify the extent of that genetic contribution,” said lead author Vineet Bhandari, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine.

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