Monday, November 23, 2009

Stem cell treatment for the eyes

US researchers have filed a request to conduct human trials for the treatment of Stargardt disease. Stargardts is a common form of blindness in children.
According to animal tests, stem cell treatment, consisting a single injection of stem cells, prevented further vision loss without adverse side effects. It works by replacing retinal pigmented epithelial cells (RPE) which are a vital part of the retinal tissue that collects the light needed for functional vision."If you start to lose these RPE, the environment for the photoreceptors degenerates," Lanza said (on of the researchers)."By putting these RPEs back in you can prevent the loss of these photoreceptors and prevent blindness."

Trials could begin as early as next year.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

LASIK may not harm the corneal endothelium

In a small study, researchers investigated the effects of Laser ablation on the corneal endothelium. This means that surgeons could use donor corneas that have had LASIK in the past.This is a significant finding given the many eyes that have received laser refractive surgery.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Routine blood test may identify those at risk of diabetic retinopathy.

A study of the levels of hemoglobin levels may show increased risk of proliferative-retinopathy for those with jevenile-onset diabetes. "This is the first study, to our knowledge, to show high hemoglobin levels to be predictive of the long-term incidence of proliferative diabetic retinopathy," the researchers wrote in the November issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

According to the study, hemoglobin levels and diastolic pressure were the only predictive factors of retinopathy. They said their findings on high hemoglobin levels and retinopathy "may have important clinical relevance, as they may both identify new pathogenetic pathways to proliferative diabetic retinopathy and influence clinical treatment."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Study indicates Macular Degeneration doesn't get worse with Caract surgery.

Until now it is commonly held that cataract surgery can speed the development of macular degeneration (AMD). A new study, however, indicates that this may be more linked to age than to each other.

"Because both conditions are strongly age-related, many individuals with cataract also have AMD," wrote Li Ming Dong, of Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York, and colleagues. "There has been a long-standing controversy among clinicians as to whether cataract surgery is contraindicated in eyes with non-neovascular AMD. A major concern has been whether cataract surgery increases the risk of progression to neovascular AMD (an advanced form of the disease involving formation of new blood vessels) in eyes at risk of progression such as those with intermediate AMD."

 "Our findings suggest that previous reports of the association or progression of non-neovascular AMD to advanced AMD after cataract surgery could be biased," the researchers wrote. They concluded that their findings do not support the hypothesis that cataract surgery contributes to the progression of AMD.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fresh air fund provides summer vacations for kids who need it.

From what I'm told, Fresh Air Fund was able to help campers with their vision by partnering with ONESIGHT. I thought I'd give them a little publicity at their request.

THE FRESH AIR FUND, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Nearly 10,000 New York City children enjoy free Fresh Air Fund programs annually. In 2009, close to 5,000 children visited volunteer host families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. 3,000 children also attended five Fresh Air camps on a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. The Fund’s year-round camping program serves an additional 2,000 young people each year.

Fresh Air Fund History

In 1877, the Reverend Willard Parsons, minister of a small rural parish in Sherman, Pennsylvania, asked members of his congregation to provide country vacations as volunteer host families for children from New York City tenements. This was the beginning of The Fresh Air Fund tradition of caring for NYC’s neediest children.

The simplicity of our program is its strength. Looking back to 1877, we can reflect on how much has changed, and how much has stayed the same. In 2009, close to 5,000 New York City children experienced the joys of summertime in Friendly Towns and at five Fund camps in upstate New York.