Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 26.01.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Simone L. Li, PhD Retina Foundation of the Southwest Dallas, Texas Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Li: In a previous study, we found that binocular iPad game play significantly improved visual acuity in the amblyopic eye. The purpose of the current study was to determine the longevity of these effects and we found that the visual acuity improvements obtained with binocular iPad game play had been retained for at least 12 months after the treatment ended. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 21.01.2015

Prof. David Mackey Centre for Ophthalmology and Vision Science/Lions Eye Institute Perth Managing Director/Chair of University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia Centre for Eye Research Australia, Melbourne UniversityMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. David Mackey Centre for Ophthalmology and Vision Science/Lions Eye Institute Perth Managing Director/Chair of University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia Centre for Eye Research Australia, Melbourne University MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Mackey: Too much or too little sun? Excessive sun exposure is associated with the eye disease pterygium, while lack of outdoor activity in childhood increases the risk of myopia (short sightedness). Measuring the amount of early sun damage to a person’s eyes would be of great use to researchers and potential use in clinical practice. Over the last few years we have developed a biomarker for sun exposure to the eye by photographing Conjunctival UV Auto-Fluorescence (CUVAF). The study published in JAMA Ophthalmology looked at the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to CUVAF levels in three Australian studies from Tasmania, Perth and Brisbane. People who live in sunnier environments closer to the equator have more evidence of sun damage using CUVAF.  However, genetic factors also play a role. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Ophthalmology / 12.01.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zheng He and Bang V. Bui Department of Optometry & Vision Sciences University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness in the world, is a condition that occurs when too much pressure builds up inside the eye. This excess pressure injures the optic nerve (the wire that transmits visual information to the brain) resulting in vision loss. Many risk factors for glaucoma are not well understood. High blood pressure (> 140/90 mmHg) is probably the most common comorbidity in patients presenting to optometry clinics. The overall prevalence of hypertension worldwide is over 26%, and increases dramatically with advancing age. Long-term hypertension leads to remodeling of the heart and blood vessels, promoting the risk of multiple end organ damage. Whilst chronic hypertension is a well-documented risk factor for stroke, the link between hypertension and glaucoma remains unclear. Previously, it was thought that high blood pressure could counteract high intraocular pressure, which is a clear risk factor for glaucoma. However, this issue may be more complicated than first thought. The Baltimore Eye Survey compared the prevalence of glaucoma in young and older patients with hypertension. They found that young patients with high blood pressure were at lower risk of glaucoma compared to the entire cohort. This outcome is consistent with the idea that higher blood pressure provides better perfusion pressure to the eye. Paradoxically systemic hypertension in older subjects actually increased the risk of glaucoma. Its seems that longer durations of systemic hypertension impact glaucoma risk negatively. One explanation for this is that any benefit from high blood pressure counteracting high eye pressure is lost as damage to blood vessels — a consequence of hypertension — becomes more dominant. This hypothesis was tested by comparing the effect of acute (one hour) and chronic (four weeks) hypertension in lab rats with elevated eye pressure. When blood pressure was raised for four weeks, there was less functional protection against eye pressure elevation compared with the one-hour case. This shows that having high blood pressure for a longer time compromises the eye's capacity to cope with high eye pressure. This impairment was associated with thicker and narrower blood vessels and a reduced capacity for the eye to maintain blood flow at normal levels in response to eye pressure elevation (this process is known as autoregulation). Thus in chronic hypertension, smaller reduction in ocular perfusion pressure can result in blood flow deficiency. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Ophthalmology, Telemedicine / 08.01.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shi Lili Department of Medical informatics and Nantong University Library Nantong University, Nantong, China Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the most frequently occurring complication of diabetes and one of the major causes of acquired blindness in the working-age population around the world. DR can be detected using various methods. Telemedicine based on digital photographs of the fundus is being used with increasing frequency to detect DR, and especially for Diabetic retinopathy screening. The purpose of our study was to assess the diagnostic accuracy of telemedicine in the full range of DR and DME severity compared with the current gold standard. We found that the diagnostic accuracy of telemedicine using digital imaging in DR was overall high. It can be used widely for Diabetic retinopathy screening. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology, Weight Research / 13.12.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rui Azevedo Guerreiro Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa Central Portugal Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This article aims to summarise the current state of understanding on the possible ophthalmic complications that can occur after a bariatric surgery. The main finding of this review article is that ophthalmic complications after bariatric surgeries are more frequent that we could thought initially, especially in patients not adherent to their vitamin supplements. In one study, the percentage of patients with vitamin A deficiency 4 years after the surgery reached up to 69%. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology / 06.12.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lilach Bareket School of Electrical Engineering, Tel Aviv University Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, and School of Chemistry, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Neuro-prosthetic devices aim to restore impaired function through artificial stimulation of the nervous system. Visual prosthetic devices, operating by light activation of neurons, are presently developed as an approach to treat blindness. In particular, in the case of patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration in which the photoreceptors in the retina degenerate. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology, Statins / 02.12.2014

B. John Mancini, MD, FRCPC, FACP, FACC Professor of Medicine; University of British Columbia; Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology; Research Director, Division of Cardiology; Director, Cardiovascular Imaging Research Core Laboratory (CIRCL); President, Vancouver Hospital Medical, Dental and Allied Staff; Staff Cardiologist, VH Cardiology Clinics and Cardiac Computed Tomographic Angiography Program; Staff Cardiologist, St. Paul's Hospital Healthy Heart/Prevention Clinic.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: B. John Mancini, MD, FRCPC, FACP, FACC Professor of Medicine; University of British Columbia; Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology; Research Director, Division of Cardiology; Director, Cardiovascular Imaging Research Core Laboratory (CIRCL); President, Vancouver Hospital Medical, Dental and Allied Staff; Staff Cardiologist, VH Cardiology Clinics and Cardiac Computed Tomographic Angiography Program; Staff Cardiologist, St. Paul's Hospital Healthy Heart/Prevention Clinic. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of this study? Dr. Mancini: The main findings are that we found evidence of a relationship between statin use and the need for cataract surgery. The unique nature of the study is that it looked for the association in two distinctly different populations (a Canadian database and a separate, American database) and found a consistent association in both populations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology / 11.11.2014

Dr. Andrea Russo Medico Chirurgo - Specialista in Oculistica Università degli Studi di Brescia Brescia ItalyMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Andrea Russo Medico Chirurgo - Specialista in Oculistica Università degli Studi di Brescia Brescia Italy Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Russo: When I finished my residency program in Ophthalmology two years ago I realized that many patients were referred to me to assess and classify diabetic and hypertensive retinopathy. Therefore, I started wondering if there was an ophthalmoscopy method to make General Practitioners and Internist Physicians independent for these screening retinal assessments. I thought that we all own a personal computer connected with a (high quality) camera in our pocket and therefore smartphone ophthalmoscopy was feasible. Both the indirect and direct ophthalmoscopy techniques were suitable, however the latter was much easier to obtain. Furthermore, direct ophthalmoscopy can exploit smartphones’ autofocus and flash LED light making the required optics very simple and inexpensive. I purchased my 3D printer and started realizing very first working prototypes. A few months were required to improve the light path to eliminate internal and corneal reflections. Finally, I patented the optical solution and joined my partner Si14 S.p.A. (Padova, Italy) for the industrialization process. The main findings are that that smartphone ophthalmoscopy with the D-Eye system can accurately detect retinal lesions for grading diabetic retinopathy. Furthermore, we noticed an amazing convenience in the assessment of babies, since they seem to be spontaneously attracted by the non-disturbing light emitted by the device, making the fundus acquisition straightforward. The advantages of smartphone-based retinal image acquisition for remote, non-hospital settings include portability and immediate upload/analysis. Indeed, telemedicine has the potential to reach patients and communities that currently receive negligible or suboptimal eye care as a result of geographic or sociocultural barriers, or both. (more…)
Author Interviews, Macular Degeneration, Radiology, Stanford / 10.11.2014

Daniel L. Rubin, MD, MS  Assistant Professor of Radiology and Medicine (Biomedical Informatics) Department of Radiology | Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305-5488MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel L. Rubin, MD, MS  Assistant Professor of Radiology and Medicine (Biomedical Informatics) Department of Radiology | Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305-5488 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Rubin: Age-Related Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of blindness and central vision loss among adults older than 65. An estimated 10-15 million people in the United States suffer from the disease, in which the macula — the area of the retina responsible for vision — shows signs of degeneration. While about one of every five people with AMD develop the so-called “wet” form of the disease that can cause devastating blindness. In wet AMD, abnormal blood vessels accumulate underneath the macula and leak blood and fluid. When that happens, irreversible damage to the macula can quickly ensue if not treated quickly. Until now, there has been no effective way to tell which individuals with AMD are likely to convert to the wet stage. Current treatments are costly and invasive — they typically involve injections of medicines directly into the eyeball — making the notion of treating people with early or intermediate stages of Age-Related Macular Degeneration a non-starter. In our study, we report on a computerized method that analyzes images of the retina obtained with a test called spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), and our method can predict, with high accuracy, whether a patient with mild or intermediate Age-Related Macular Degeneration will progress to the wet stage. Our method generates a risk score, a value that predicts a patient’s likelihood of progressing to the wet stage within one year, three years or five years. The likelihood of progression within one year is most relevant, because it can be used to guide a recommendation as to how soon to schedule the patient’s next office visit. In our study, we analyzed data from 2,146 scans of 330 eyes in 244 patients seen at Stanford Health Care over a five-year period. Patients were followed for as long as four years, and predictions of the model were compared with actual instances of conversion to wet AMD. The model accurately predicted every occurrence of conversion to the wet stage of AMD within a year. In approximately 40% of the cases when the model predicted conversion to wet AMD within a year, the prediction was not borne out, however. We are currently refining the model to reduce the frequency of these false positives. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Ophthalmology, Stanford / 07.11.2014

Theodore Leng, MD, MS , one of the article’s senior authors Byers Eye Institute at Stanford Stanford University School of Medicine Palo Alto, CA 94303MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Theodore Leng, MD, MS , one of the article’s senior authors Byers Eye Institute at Stanford Stanford University School of Medicine Palo Alto, CA 94303   Dr. Leng: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Medical Research: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness and central vision loss among adults older than 65 years. 80-85% of patients have the dry, non-exudative, form of the disease, but the wet, exudative, form of advanced AMD is of primary concern as it accounts for a majority of severe vision loss in Age-related macular degeneration. In wet AMD, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina and can leak blood and fluid. Until now, there has been no effective way to tell which patients with dry AMD are likely to progress to the wet stage. In our recent Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science article, we describe a new mathematical model that can predict which patients are likely to progress. The predictive model identifies likely progressors by analyzing 3D spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) retinal imaging data that’s routinely obtained during retinal encounters. We analyzed data from 2,146 SD-OCT scans of 330 eyes in 244 patients seen at The Byers Eye Institute at Stanford over a five-year period. We found that the area and height of drusen, the amount of reflectivity at the macular surface and the degree of change in these features over time, could be weighted to generate a patient’s risk score. Predictions from the model were compared with cases where patients actually progressed to wet Age-related macular degeneration. Our model accurately predicted every occurrence of progression within a year. There was a false positive rate of around 40%, but we thought this was a good tradeoff because we would not miss any potential progressors by using this sensitivity threshold. (more…)
Author Interviews, General Medicine, Macular Degeneration, Stroke / 31.10.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Takashi Ueta, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology Graduate School and Faculty of Medicine The University of Tokyo Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Ueta: In 2009 we had reported an initial systematic review and meta-analysis which include pivotal RCTs but the number of the included studies were only 3 (MARINA, ANCHOR, FOCUS). During the following several years, more trials comparing different dosages and frequencies of ranibizumab treatment were conducted, which made us to update our meta-analysis. Based on our updated meta-analysis, increase in several systemic vascular adverse events was observed: 86% increase in odds ratio (OR) for the risk of cerebrovascular accident (CVA) when 0,5 mg ranibizumab used. 89% increase in OR for the risk of CVA when monthly ranibizumab of any dosage is used. 57% increase in OR for the risk of non-ocular hemorrhage when ranibizumab of any dosage with any frequency is used. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Macular Degeneration / 28.10.2014

Ronald Klein, MD, MPH, Professor Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Madison WIMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ronald Klein, MD, MPH, Professor Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Madison WI Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?  Dr. Klein: We found that more severe age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in 1 eye was associated with increased incidence of age-related macular degeneration [levels 1-2: hazard ratio [HR], 4.90 [95%CI, 4.26-5.63] and accelerated progression [levels 2-3: HR, 2.09 [95%CI, 1.42-3.06]; levels 3-4: HR, 2.38 [95%CI, 1.74-3.25] and incidence of late age-related macular degeneration [levels 4-5: HR, 2.46 [95%CI, 1.65-3.66] in its fellow eye. Less severe AMD in 1 eye was associated with less progression of AMD in its fellow eye. We estimated that 51% of participants who develop any age-related macular degeneration maintained age-related macular degeneration severity states within 1 step of each other between eyes and 90% of participants stay within 2 steps. (more…)
Author Interviews, Melanoma, Ophthalmology / 17.10.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof I. Jolanda M. de Vries Professor, Dept of Tumor Immunology Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Prof. de Vries: Dendritic cells are antigen-presenting cells with the unique capacity to activate naive antigen-specific T cells, and by this means are very suitable to induce immunologic antitumor responses. Dendritic cells cultured from monocytes can be matured and loaded with tumor antigen ex vivo and administered back into the patient. Within the lymph node, dendritic cells present antigens to T cells to initiate an immune response. Metastatic uveal melanoma patients were vaccinated with autologous DCs loaded with tumor antigens (gp100 and tyrosinase), obtained by leukapheresis, according to a schedule of 3 biweekly vaccinations. One to 2 weeks after the last vaccination, a skin test was performed to analyse the induction of immunologic responses. We can conclude that dendritic cell vaccination is feasible and safe in metastatic uveal melanoma. Dendritic cell-based immunotherapy is potent to enhance the host’s antitumor immunity against uveal melanoma in approximately one third of patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Karolinski Institute, Ophthalmology / 04.10.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jinjin Zheng Selin, MSc Unit of Nutritional Epidemiology Institute of Environmental Medicine Karolinska Institutet Stockholm Sweden Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Response: Our results suggest that higher levels of total physical activity, especially in the long-term, as well as specific types of physical activity including walking/bicycling and work/occupational activity, may be associated with decreased risk of age-related cataract among middle-aged and elderly women and men. On the other side, high levels of leisure time inactivity may be associated with increased risk of cataract. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology / 01.10.2014

Dr. Michael Kalloniatis School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW Australia, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; Centre for Eye Health, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia;MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Michael Kalloniatis School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW Australia, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; Centre for Eye Health, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? What was most surprising about the results? Dr. Kalloniatis: Normal mice given a single sildenafil treatment had a transient loss of visual function which recovered in two days. Carrier mice (mice which carry a single copy of a mutation that commonly causes recessive Retintis Pigmentosa) showed a supernormal visual response (a response much larger than the norm) to sildenafil which took two weeks to recover to normal. Carrier mice also showed an increase in an early marker for apoptosis (a protein which suggest cells may be preparing to die) suggesting sildenafil may cause retinal degeneration in these mice. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology / 22.09.2014

Dr. David O'Brart Keratoconus Research Institute, Department of Ophthalmology St. Thomas' Hospital, London, United KingdomMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. David O'Brart Keratoconus Research Institute, Department of Ophthalmology St. Thomas' Hospital, London, United Kingdom   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. O'Brart: There was a slight but significant increase in myopic spherical equivalent refractive error after Photorefractive Keratectomy between 1 and 20 years, particularly in those under 40 at the time of treatment and female patients. Corneal curvature/power remained unchanged but axial length increased over two decades. The procedure was safe with no long-term sight-threatening complications and improvements in CDVA (corrected distance visual acuity) and corneal transparency with time. (more…)
JAMA, Ophthalmology / 20.09.2014

Szilárd Kiss, MD Director of Clinical Research Director of Compliance  Associate Professor of Ophthalmology Weill Cornell Medical College NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital New York, New York 10021MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Szilárd Kiss, MD Director of Clinical Research Director of Compliance  Associate Professor of Ophthalmology Weill Cornell Medical College NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital New York, New York 10021 Medical Research: What is the background for your study? Dr. Kiss: There has been a good deal of publicity about bevacizumab (Avastin; a Genetech/Roche antibody originally developed for treatment of cancer but now used widely to treat macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy) being prepared by (mostly unregulated) compounding pharmacies for injection into the eye, and being associated with pathogen contamination. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Telemedicine / 11.09.2014

Mary G. Lynch, MD Professor of Ophthalmology Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center Decatur, Georgia. Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GeorgiaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mary G. Lynch, MD Professor of Ophthalmology Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center Decatur, Georgia. Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine,  Atlanta, Georgia Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Lynch:
  • Since 2006, the VA has been systematically using teleretinal screening of patients with diabetes to screen for retinopathy in the Primary Care Clinics. Under this program, 90% of veterans with diabetes are evaluated on a regular basis. A number of patients who are screened have findings that warrant a face-to-face ophthalmic exam. No information exists on the effect of such a program on medical center resources.
  • 1,935 patients  underwent teleretinal screening through the Atlanta VA over a 6 month period.  We reviewed the charts of the 465 (24%) of the patients who were referred for a face to face exam in the Eye Clinic.
  • Data was collected for these patients to determine the reasons for referral, the accuracy of the teleretinal interpretation, the resources needed in the Eye Clinic of the Medical Center to evaluate and care for the referred patients over a two year period and possible barriers to patient care.
  • Of the 465 patients referred for an exam, 260 (55.9%) actually came in for an exam. Community notes were available for an additional 66 patients. Information was available for 326 (70.1%) of the referred patients.
  • The most common referring diagnoses were nonmacular diabetic retinopathy (43.2% of referrals), nerve related issues (30.8%), lens or media opacity (19.1%), age-related macular degeneration (12.9%) and diabetic macular edema (5.6%).
  • 16.9% of the referred patients had 2 or more concurrent problems that put them at high risk for visual loss.
  • The percentage agreement between teleretinal screening and the ophthalmic exam was high: 90.4%. Overall sensitivity was 73.6%. The detection of diabetic macular edema had the lowest sensitivity.
  • A visually significant condition was detected for the first time through teleretinal screening for 142 of the patients examined (43.6%).
  • The resource burden to care for referred patients was substantial.
  • 36% of patients required 3 or more visits over the ensuing 2 year period.
  • The treatment of diabetic macular edema had the highest resource use involving on average 5 clinic visits, 6 diagnostic procedures and 2 surgical procedures
  • The most common non-refractive diagnostic procedures were visual fields and optical coherence tomography.
  • The average cost to care for the referred patients (in Medicare dollars) in work RVUs alone was approximately $1,000 per patient. The cost to care for a patient with diabetic macular edema was $2673.36.
(more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 06.09.2014

Louis R. Pasquale, MD Channing Division of Network Medicine Department of Ophthalmology Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Boston, MassachusettsMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Louis R. Pasquale, MD Channing Division of Network Medicine Department of Ophthalmology Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Boston, Massachusetts Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Pasquale: We found that more time spent outdoors in summer was associated with increased risk of exfoliation syndrome. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Ophthalmology / 26.08.2014

Ronald C Gentile, MD, FACS, FASRS Professor of Ophthalmology Chief, Ocular Trauma Service (Posterior Segment) Surgeon Director The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai New York, NY 10003 President: operationrestorevision.orgMedicalResearch.com Interview with Ronald C Gentile, MD, FACS, FASRS Professor of Ophthalmology Chief, Ocular Trauma Service (Posterior Segment) Surgeon Director The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai New York, NY 10003 President: operationrestorevision.org Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Gentile: We had three main findings in our study on the microbiological spectrum and antibiotic sensitivity in endophthalmitis over the past twenty- five years at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai. First Finding: The first main finding of the study was that there has not been any major change in the types of organisms causing endophthalmitis over the past 25 years. The most common cause of endophthalmitis in the study was bacteria, 95%, with most, 85%, being Gram-positive bacteria. The most prevalent organisms isolated were coagulase-negative staphylococcus, making up about 40% of the cases. This was followed by Streptococcus viridans species in about 12% and Staphylococcus aureus in about 11%. Gram-negative organisms accounted for about 10% and fungi for about 5%. Second Finding: The second main finding of the study was that the current empiric intravitreal antibiotics used for treating endophthalmitis, vancomycin and ceftazidime, continue to be an excellent choice. The overwhelming majority of microorganisms causing endophthalmitis are susceptible to this combination. Over 99% of the Gram-positive isolates were susceptible to the vancomycin and about 92 percent of the Gram-negative isolates were susceptible to ceftazidime. Third Finding: The third main finding of the study was that there was increasing microbial resistance to eight antibiotics including cefazolin, cefotetan, cephalothin, clindamycin, erythromycin, methicillin/oxacillin, ampicillin, ceftriaxone and decreasing microbial resistance to three antibiotics including gentamicin, tobramycin, and imipenem. For example, Staph Aureus isolates resistant to methicillin increased from 18% in the late 1980s to just over 50% this past decade while gentamicin-resistance endophthalmitis isolates decreased during the same time period from 42% to 6%. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Macular Degeneration, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 19.08.2014

Rohit Varma, MD, MPH Grace and Emery Beardsley Professor and Chair USC Department of Ophthalmology Director, USC Eye Institute Associate Dean for Strategic Planning and Network Development Keck School of Medicine of USCMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rohit Varma, MD, MPH Grace and Emery Beardsley Professor and Chair USC Department of Ophthalmology Director, USC Eye Institute Associate Dean for Strategic Planning and Network Development Keck School of Medicine of USC Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Varma: Our research demonstrates African-Americans bear a heavier burden of diabetic macular edema (DME), one of the leading causes of blindness in diabetic patients in the United States, compared to Non-Hispanic whites. The study points to a need for improved screening and greater attention to vision loss by clinicians and patients particularly those who are at high risk of developing diabetic macular edema. (more…)
JAMA, Ophthalmology / 11.08.2014

Helen A. Mintz-Hittner, M.D., F.A.C.S. Alfred W. Lasher, III, Professor of Ophthalmology Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston-Medical School Cizik Eye ClinicMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Helen A. Mintz-Hittner, M.D., F.A.C.S. Alfred W. Lasher, III, Professor of Ophthalmology Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston-Medical School Cizik Eye Clinic Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Mintz-Hittner:
  • For retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), at age 2 ½ years, intravitreal bevacizumab (IVB) injections cause less myopia (nearsightedness) in diopters (D) compared to conventional laser therapy (CLT):f
  • or Zone I: -1.51 D versus -8.44 D (7 diopters difference: p = 0.001. for Posterior Zone II: -0.58 D versus -5.83 D (5 diopters difference: p = 0.001.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology, Stem Cells, Transplantation / 17.07.2014

Ben Mead Molecular Neuroscience Group Neurotrauma and Neurodegeneration Section School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine University of Birmingham, BirminghamMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ben Mead Molecular Neuroscience Group Neurotrauma and Neurodegeneration Section School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine University of Birmingham, Birmingham Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Traumatic and neurodegenerative disease of the retina lead to an irreversible loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) which are the neuronal cells located in the inner retina that transmit visual signals to the brain. Thus RGC injury results in visual defects which can ultimately progress into permanent blindness. One promising therapeutic approach is the use of stem cells as a source of replacement for lost retinal cells. However a theory has emerged suggesting that stem cells can act through the secretion of signalling molecules (growth factors). One stem cell that has recently shown great promise for neuronal repair are dental pulp stem cells (DPSC), which are multipotent stem cells easily isolated from adult teeth, including third molars (Mead et al 2013, 2014). In our research, we transplanted either dental pulp stem cells or the more widely studied bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell (BMSC) into the vitreous chamber of the eye after optic nerve crush (Mead et al 2013). The main finding of this study was that DPSC, to a significantly greater degree than BMSC, promoted the survival of injured RGC and the regeneration of their axons. We also showed that the mechanism of action was not through differentiation and replacement of cells but was actually paracrine mediated, i.e. through DPSC-derived growth factors (Mead et al, 2013, 2014). (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 01.06.2014

Reed Jost, MS Retina Foundation of the Southwest 9600 N Central Expwy, Suite 200 Dallas, TX 75231MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Reed Jost, MS Retina Foundation of the Southwest 9600 N Central Expwy, Suite 200 Dallas, TX 75231   MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Commercially available automated screening devices assess refractive risk factors, not amblyopia or strabismus, resulting in under-referral of affected children and over-referral of healthy children to pediatric eye care professionals. The Pediatric Vision Scanner is a binocular retinal birefringence scanner that directly detects strabismus and amblyopia by analyzing binocular scans for the presence or absence of birefringence, which is characteristic of steady, bifoveal fixation. We found that the Pediatric Vision Scanner outperformed an automated, refractive error screener (SureSight Autorefractor) in a cohort of 300 patients (2-6 years) tested in a pediatric ophthalmology setting. Compared to the SureSight, the Pediatric Vision Scanner had significantly higher sensitivity and higher specificity in the detection of strabismus and amblyopia. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 25.04.2014

Michael Wall, MD Department of Neurology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 200 Hawkins D Iowa City, IA 52242-1091MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Wall, MD Department of Neurology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 200 Hawkins D Iowa City, IA 52242-1091 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Wall: We studied patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (formerly called pseudotumor cerebri) with mild visual loss. We found that subjects taking acetazolamide, a type of diuretic, along with a low sodium weight loss program had significantly better visual outcomes than those taking placebo along with the diet. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetes Care, Ophthalmology / 06.04.2014

Massimo Porta, MD PhD Professor of Medicine Head, Unit of Internal Medicine 1 Department of Medical Sciences  University of TurinMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Massimo Porta, MD PhD Professor of Medicine Head, Unit of Internal Medicine 1 Department of Medical Sciences  University of Turin MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Porta: Type 2 diabetes has a slow, insidious onset and may remain undiagnosed for several years, during which complications may arise and progress. As a result, many patients already have retinopathy at the time a clinical diagnosis is finally made. Previous attempts at estimating the duration of this period of "hidden" diabetes relied upon  extrapolations of a linear correlation between known duration of diabetes and prevalence of retinopathy. This led to overestimates, because: a) the best fitting correlation may not be linear, b) series included insulin treated patients, who might have late-onset type 1 diabetes, c) patients with any mild retinopathy were included whereas we now know that up to 10% of non diabetic individuals may have minimal retinal signs. By taking these variables into account, ie including only patients not on insulin and with moderate or more severe retinopathy and applying different mathematical models, we ended up with an estimated duration preceding diagnosis of type 2 diabetes of 4-6 years, against longer than 13 years using "standard" criteria. (more…)
Author Interviews, General Medicine, Macular Degeneration, Ophthalmology / 19.03.2014

Chung-Jung Chiu DDS PhD Scientist II, JM USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging Assistant Professor, School of Medicine Tufts University Boston MA 02111MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chung-Jung Chiu DDS PhD Scientist II, JM USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging Assistant Professor, School of Medicine Tufts University Boston MA 02111 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: In this study, we found that advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is predictable by using clinically readily available information. We devised a simple algorithm to summarize the clinical predictors and showed the validity of our prediction model in both clinic-based and community-based cohorts. We also develop an application (App) for the iPhone and iPad as a practical tool for our prediction model. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Duke, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 14.03.2014

Glenn Yiu, MD, PhD Duke Ophthalmology Duke University Medical CenterMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Glenn Yiu, MD, PhD Duke Ophthalmology Duke University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com:  What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Yiu: This paper reported a child who suffered injury to both eyes from a powerful blue laser pointer purchased via the internet from overseas. Our report reviews the scientific basis for laser injuries in eyes and the factors that may affect outcomes, such as power, wavelength, duration, and distance of exposure. Newer green and blue lasers, especially high-powered ones, may be more prone to inducing eye injuries. We summarized the clinical features of ocular laser injuries, methods of prevention, and discussed how consumer availability of high powered lasers may require careful federal regulations. (more…)