Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Imaging-analysis technique allows diagnosis of diabetes-related eye problems over the Internet.

Wired News reports that an imaging-analysis technique developed by researchers at the University of Tennessee for finding defects in semiconductors is now being used to diagnose the eye problems associated with diabetes over the Internet. Pictures of the retinas of patients with diabetes are uploaded to a server that compares them to a database of thousands of other images of healthy and diseased eyes.

Algorithms can assign a disease level to the new eye image by looking at the same factors, mainly damage to blood vessels, that an eye doctor would. Currently, more than 25 million Americans suffer from diabetes, which, if left untreated, can cause blindness, among other physical problems. This new technology could help reduce the cost and increase the availability of screening for the eye problems that impair the vision of thousands of patients each year.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Illinois' Belleville News Democrat (2/12) reported that a new device called the Trabectome speeds glaucoma operations and post-surgical recovery.

The device works by reducing pressure in the eye without the need for the filtration or shunts used in traditional glaucoma surgery, allowing surgeons to remove tissue so fluid more easily drains out of the eye. While traditional glaucoma surgery usually means several weeks of recovery with no lifting or bending, the recovery with the Trabectome normally takes about a week. But, not all glaucoma patients...are good candidates for the new device. According to glaucoma researcher Carla J. Siegfried, M.D., patients in the early to moderate stages of the disease are the best candidates

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Antioxidants & degenerative eye diseases.

According to findings published in the Feb. 2 advance online edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, antioxidants may help preserve vision lost in degenerative eye diseases, and a new cell-based gene therapy technique...could eventually offer another option for arresting vision loss from these diseases.
A team from the Scripps Research Institute found that debilitating eye damage in rodents is caused by increased oxidative chemical activity sparked blood vessel growth, rather than simply by the new blood vessel growth itself.
Next, the team was able to identify two remarkably effective treatments. One of these options is simply giving the mice doses of antioxidants orally in order to counterbalance the oxidative damage to neurons, blocking further deterioration in the eyes of treated mice. Then, by using a novel twist to standard gene therapy techniques, the researchers were able to deliver directly to the neurons in question a protein that protects neurons, effectively fortifying them against the onslaught of oxidants.

Spectacle Power adjusted by injecting fluid into the lenses

On its website, BBC News (2/10) reports that a retired Oxford University physics professor has designed adjustable glasses that can be used by people in the developing world. The glasses are altered by injecting tiny quantities of fluid into the lenses, which means that people can have glasses that suit their eyes without the need for a prescription. According to BBC News, the invention should enable millions of people in poorer parts of the world to get glasses for the first time.

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