Monday, November 16, 2009

AMD treatment with NeoVista system

Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels behind the retina start to grow under the macula, where they leak blood and fluid, causing scar tissue to form and vision to become impaired. With wet AMD, vision loss may occur faster and be more noticeable than with dry AMD. The longer the abnormal vessels leak or grow, the more detail vision will be lost. The earlier wet AMD is diagnosed, the better the patients' chance of preserving some or much of their central vision.

The first European patients have been treated for wet age-related macular degeneration with NeoVista's Vidion ANV Therapy System, an epimacular brachytherapy device that delivers a single dose of therapeutic radiation, the manufacturer announced in a press release.

Stanislao Rizzo, MD, of S. Chiara Hospital, Pisa, Italy, treated the initial group of patients with the Vidion ANV Therapy System. Unlike previous radiation therapies for wet AMD, NeoVista's innovative device delivers the peak dose of strontium-90 beta ionizing radiation directly to the lesion minimizing exposure to the surrounding tissue. The minimally invasive procedure utilizes a device similar in size to a needle, to deliver a highly targeted dose of radiation directly to the area of the retina affected by wet AMD. Importantly for patients, the systemic radiation exposure is minimal, as the effective dose to the entire body from NeoVista's epimacular brachytherapy device is less then a routine chest x-ray.

The Vidion system is undergoing phase 3 clinical trials for U.S. Food and Drug Administration marketing approval. The device proved safe and effective in preliminary clinical trials, the release said.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blood test to identify retinopathy in Type 1 Diabetics

A routine blood test may identify juvenile-onset diabetic patients at heightened risk for proliferative retinopathy.

In a multivariate analysis of data on 426 people followed over 18 years from Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications Study, researchers found that each increment of 1 g/dL in hemoglobin was associated with a linear 29% increase in risk for retinopathy in men with type 1 diabetes (95% CI 8% to 54%), and a quadratic 10% risk increase in women (95% CI 0% to 20%).

Notably, only diastolic pressure and glycated hemoglobin were predictive of retinopathy in multivariate analysis for both sexes, while systolic pressure predicted retinopathy in women (HR 1.03 per mm Hg), but not in men.

The researchers noted that the difference in the nature of the relationship between hemoglobin and retinopathy risk between sexes -- linear in men, quadratic in women -- may just be a statistical fluke, arising from the small number of men with hemoglobin levels below 13.5 g/dL.

A U-shaped relationship, indicating increased retinopathy risk for both low and high levels of hemoglobin, is likely to apply to both sexes, they said

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Combined drug to treat nasal and ocular allergies

this is what cats do to me 3/19/2007Image by aarrgh via Flickr

A study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and presented at an allergy conference, showed that the combination of azelastine (Astelin or Astepro) and fluticasone propionate (Flonase) gave significantly better nasal symptom relief than placebo or either drug alone.
Azelastine is an antihistamine and mast cell stabilizer that is also sold as eye drops for allergic conjunctivitis under another brand name. Fluticasone is a synthetic glucosteroid that is used as an anti-inflammatory.

Investigators enrolled 610 patients with moderate-to-severe allergic rhinitis, randomly assigning them to get either azelastine, fluticasone, the combination nasal spray, or a placebo nasal spray twice a day for two weeks. They discovered that the combination was significantly better than either drug alone or placebo at relieving nasal symptoms, but the two drugs delivered together -- a combination dubbed MP29-02 -- were not significantly better than either drug as monotherapy for ocular symptoms
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Role of dietary fat in AMD

MedPage Today reported that, according to a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, " fat-filled diet may put younger women at risk for future age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

After analyzing dietary fat intake measured in 1,787 women, researchers found that women younger than 75 with the highest total fat intake (about 43% of daily calories) had 70% higher odds of intermediate AMD than those in the lowest quintile (21% fat calories).

Notably, photographic assessment for AMD revealed that 4% of the women had intermediate disease -- defined by extensive drusen deposits on the retina or optic nerve head as well as pigmentary abnormalities.

But as in some prior studies, macular degeneration risk rose with omega-6 intake (OR 2.0 for high versus low quintiles, 95% CI 1.1 to 3.5) after adjustment for age, and other fat intakes. The same was true for younger and older women alike.
Omega-6 may promote inflammation, "which is thought to contribute to retinal damage that may promote age-related macular degeneration," the researchers said.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Researchers develop photochromic contact lenses

Singapore skyline 2Image by StarvingFox via Flickr

MIT's Technology Review reports Jackie Ying, director of the Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore as having developed an UV-responsive, or photochromic, lenses that darken when exposed to ultraviolet light, protecting the eyes against the sun's damaging rays, and return to normal in UV's absence.

The lenses contain a novel polymer laced with an intricate network of nano-sized tunnels that can be filled with dyes. Early studies have demonstrated that the technology performs faster than the transition sunglasses on the market today. The investigators hope to have photochromic contact lenses commercially available within a year.

Nanotechnology refers to the manipulation of matter at the molecular level and is measured by a nanometre scale that is between one and 100 nanometres. A sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometres thick.
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Cataract surgery may not speed progression of AMD

Cataract surgery, using a temporal approach ph...Image via Wikipedia

According to a study published in the Nov. issue of the journal Archives of Ophthalmology, cataract surgery doesn't appear to speed the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Investigators examined 71 eyes of patients with non-neovascular AMD before, and at one week and one year after they had cataract surgery. They discovered progression to neovascular AMD occurred in 4.6 percent of the eyes between one week and one year after cataract surgery, compared with three percent for cataract-free eyes.

Medscape reported that an accompanying editorial by Barbara E. K. Klein, MD, MPH pointed out that several reports have shown an association between cataract surgery and AMD since the late 1980s, and that the diversity of findings in no small part begins with differences in study design.

Nevertheless, discussing these inconsistencies will help patients and their doctors make a more informed decision about the risks for progression to early AMD and development of late AMD after cataract surgery
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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

HbA1c better predictor retinopathy than FPG in US population

According to a
study published in Diabetes Care, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) is a better predictor of retinopathy prevalence in the general population than fasting plasma glucose (FPG).
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the pancreas does not secrete enough insulin or the body is unable to process it properly. Insulin is the hormone that regulates the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Diabetes can affect children and adults. Patients with diabetes are more likely to develop eye problems such as cataract or glaucoma., but the main threat to vision is its effect on the retina.

Researchers analyzed data from 1,066 people, including values for HbA1c, FPG, and 45 degree color digital retinal images. After using area under the receiver operator curve analysis...the team found that HbA1c was a significantly stronger discriminator of retinopathy than FPG.

While diabetic retinopathy, or more specifically its associated threshold FPG value of 7.0 mmol/l, has been used in diagnostic criteria for type 2 diabetes by the American Diabetes Association, this study confirms...that HbA1c levels could be a superior measure for predicting retinopathy risk to FPG and may be more appropriate for use in diagnosing type 2 diabetes, the authors said.

Cheng et al conclude: “While the HbA1c and FPG levels of 5.5% and 5.8 mmol/l provide start points at which retinopathy prevalence increases most precipitously, HbA1c appears to discriminate between the presence and absence of retinopathy at least as well as FPG and offers some advantages over FPG.”
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A novel, "dual optic" accommodating intraocular lens improved intermediate distance vision and contrast sensitivity under low light conditions compared with some multifocal lenses, researchers said.

The findings, reported in two studies from the same research group here at the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting, suggest that the new generation of lens will hold functional advantages for patients undergoing cataract surgery.

First generation monofocal lenses were often used to create "bifocal" vision, with the lens in one eye set for distance vision and the other set for near objects. To overcome the poor depth perception this created, the next generation of multifocal lenses allowed both eyes simultaneously to focus on far or near objects for "more natural vision with depth perception.

Andrea Galvis, MD, of the Fundación Valle del Lili in Cali, Colombia compared three of these "premium" intraocular lenses with an experimental lens (Synchrony) designed with a dual optic to theoretically provide a more accommodative amplitude. The study included patients given the same lens in both eyes during different "eras" of lens implantation. For a functional, real life performance test of contrast sensitivity, patients were given a reading speed test under low-light conditions.

The difference was significant for Tecnis and Synchrony compared with ReZoom and ReSTOR at P<0.001.>

Synchrony had the highest contrast sensitivity of all the lenses.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Vegetable intake during pregnancy may prevent diabetes in unborn child

USA Today reports that, according to experts, an increasing number of children are being diagnosed with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. According to Ed Kraus, an associate professor at Chicago Kent Law School who works with the American Diabetes Association (ADA), many schools are...falling short in coping with these students, particularly since 30% of schools have a part-time nurse, and 25% have no nurse.

Now, the ADA has a Safe at School Campaign to help families and schools create support plans, useful because everyone from cafeteria workers and bus drivers to gym teachers and the principal should know about a child's medical condition and what to do in case of an emergency, endocrinologist Frederick Schwenk, MD, says.

Diabetes risk in children may be linked to mothers' vegetable intake during pregnancy. HealthDay reported that, according to a study published online in the journal Pediatric Diabetes, children born to mothers who ate plenty of vegetables during pregnancy are less likely to have type 1 diabetes.

This is the first study to show a link between vegetable intake during pregnancy and the risk of the child subsequently developing type 1 diabetes, but more studies of various kinds will be needed before we can say anything definitive,” says study author and clinical nutritionist Hilde Brekke from the Sahlgrenska Academy

Swedish researchers studied 6,000 five-year-olds and found that three percent either had fully developed type 1 diabetes or had elevated levels of antibodies that indicate a risk of developing the disease. The investigators found that the risk was twice as high in children whose mothers rarely ate vegetables during pregnancy, and was lowest among children whose mothers ate vegetables every day of their pregnancy.

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Femtosecond-pulse lasers appear promising for cataract surgery

Cataract surgery, using a temporal approach ph...Image via Wikipedia

Femtosecond-pulse lasers similar to those used for LASIK may take over manual incision and phacoemulsification in cataract surgery.

Researchers from the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute said that femtosecond laser incisions achieved perfect diameter accuracy in 100% of cases, while only 10% of surgeons' manual cuts were within 0.25 mm error. Investigators compared 60 manual and 60 LenSx femtosecond laser cataract surgeries done at the same center, and found that laser capsulotomy size, shape, and reproducibility were all statistically significantly better than manual capsulotomy.

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