New University of Georgia research has found that a statin drug that is often known by the brand-name Lipitor may help prevent blindness in people with diabetes. In a study using diabetic rats, lead author Azza El-Remessy, assistant professor in the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, and her colleagues found that statins prevent free radicals in the retina from killing nerves important to maintaining vision. The results of the study are published in the March edition of the journal Diabetologia.
Many tragic complications of diabetes, including amputations, heart attack, stroke, and blindness, are due to blood vessel damage. According to Xiaochao Wei, PhD, of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, all that vascular damage may be caused by a shortage of one enzyme: fatty acid synthase, or FAS.
When most people think of diabetes, the first thing to come to mind is rarely blindness, yet blindness is a very real complication of diabetes: Diabetes is actually the number one cause of new blindness in the United States.
Laser eye surgery is becoming increasingly popular as more and more people look to free themselves from their glasses or contact lenses. There are two main types of laser eye surgery, Lasik and Lasek. The vast majority of people choose to have Lasik because it has a far quicker and more comfortable recovery period. Most people can return to work and normal activities within 48 hours of having Lasik, whereas it can take up to a week to recover from Lasek surgery. In some instances your surgeon may insist that you have Lasik--if, for example, you are involved in contact sports.
Data from the massive ACCORD study on intensive blood sugar control shows that lowering blood sugar levels in people with longstanding type 2 diabetes to near-normal may delay the appearance of signs that point to damage to nerves, eyes, and kidneys, but does not stop their progression toward it.
Results from a Phase 3 study demonstrate MACUGEN® (pegaptanib sodium) significantly improved vision in patients with diabetic macular edema (DME), a complication of diabetes that is a leading cause of blindness in people of working age.¹ In the study, 37 percent of patients treated with MACUGEN gained two lines, or 10 letters, of vision on the ETDRS eye chart at 54 weeks, compared to 20 percent of patients who received a sham (placebo-like) procedure which consists of anesthesia and a simulated injection in the eye (p=0.0047). The data were presented at the World Ophthalmology Congress in Berlin by Frank G. Holz, an investigator in the trial and director of the University Eye Hospital at the University of Bonn in Germany.
Clinical studies at 52 different sites nationwide have shown that combining standard laser treatments with injections of the drug ranibizumab (Lucentis) offers substantially better results for treating macular edema than laser treatments alone. The research showed that almost 50 percent of patients treated with the combination therapy showed substantial improvement in their vision after one year, compared with 28 percent of patients who had been treated solely with laser.
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