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Developments in the Prevention of Blindness

5th November 2013

Research into the prevention of blindness has been making waves this week in the world of opthamology.

The findings of a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation has suggested a new approach into the prevention of diseases such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy which are caused through the abnormal growth of blood vessels. As cited on Medical News Today, Prof. Martin Friedlander of the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at TSRI, says:

“We believe that targeting and inhibiting the action of microRNAs involved could represent a novel and effective way to treat a broad range of neovascular eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and macular telangiectasia. We are excited about this approach to halting abnormal blood vessel growth without inducing off-target side effects.” Clinical trials are still years away but this is an exciting step forward in the prevention of these serious conditions. Read more on how blindness could be ‘prevented’.

The prevention of blindness through corneal infection is also being tackled, this time through collaboration between the University of Sheffield and the LV Prasad Eye Institute. Corneal infection is either caused by bacteria or fungi and is a common problem in developing countries such as India, of which this project is focused on. The University of Sheffield has received funding from the Wellcome Trust to work with the LV Prasad Eye Institute, in Hyderabad, to develop a new, easy to use technology that will aid in rapid diagnosis and rapid treatment to reduce the number of patients losing their eyesight.

Professor Steve Rimmer, from the University’s Department of Chemistry, is leading the Sheffield team. He said: “We are attacking a major problem in India, especially rural India and if successfully introduced into practise we might save the eyesight of thousands of patients.” Read more on the project that could help save eyesight.

LaserVision will be keeping you up to date with any further preventative news.

Sources: Medical News Today and The University of Sheffield.

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