AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Ophthalmology / 18.02.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maria Lorenza Muiesan Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences University of Brescia, Internal Medicine Brescia, Italy. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Muisean: An increase in the ratio of retinal arteries wall thickness to lumen diameter may serve as an in-vivo parameter of microvascular damage. We conducted a study that examined the relationship between changes in retinal arterioles wall thickness/ lumen diameter and several measures of blood pressure, including clinic brachial blood pressure,  24 hours brachial blood pressure and central aortic blood pressure. We found that the an increase of wall-to-lumen ratio of retinal arterioles was most closely related to 24 hours blood pressure. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology / 06.02.2014

Dr. Flora Lum, MD Executive Director, The H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., M.D. Center for Quality Eye Care, American Academy of Ophthalmology San Francisco, CA 94109-1336MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Flora Lum, MD Executive Director, The H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., M.D. Center for Quality Eye Care, American Academy of Ophthalmology San Francisco, CA 94109-1336 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?  Dr. Lum: This study anticipates the increased use of claims data for research. The study recommends a checklist for authors to use in reporting claims data analyses, and discusses the advantages  and limitations of using claims data. MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?  Dr. Lum: There is variability in the methods and descriptions of claims data analyses, and as these increase in number and importance, its encouraged that researchers use rigorous methods. (more…)
Antioxidants, Author Interviews, Macular Degeneration, Ophthalmology / 20.01.2014

Jie Jin Wang MMed (Clin Epi) MAppStat PhD Professor Australian NHMRC Senior Research Fellow (Level B) Centre for Vision Research Westmead Millennium Institute University of Sydney C24 Westmead Hospital, NSW 2145 AustraliaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jie Jin Wang MMed (Clin Epi) MAppStat PhD Professor Australian NHMRC Senior Research Fellow (Level B) Centre for Vision Research Westmead Millennium Institute University of Sydney C24 Westmead Hospital, NSW 2145 Australia MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We documented a consistent association between high dietary intake of lutein/zeaxanthin (LZ) and a reduced long-term risk of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in persons who carry ≥2 risk alleles of either or both the complement factor H (CFH-rs1061170) and/or the age-related maculopathy susceptibility gene 2 (ARMS2-rs10490924) in two older population-based cohorts. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetes Care, Ophthalmology / 15.01.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Eelco van Duinkerken Vrije Universiteit Medical Center, Amsterdama MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: In our study we assessed the relationship between cerebral small vessel disease and peripheral microvascular function in type 1 diabetes patients. By MRI cerebral small vessel disease was assessed as white matter hyperintensities and lacunar infarcts (markers of ischemia) and cerebral microbleeds (expression of vascular leakage). We hypothesized that subgroups, i.e. those with (proliferative) retinopathy, are more at risk to develop cerebral small vessels disease. To this end, we selected type 1 diabetes patients with proliferative retinopathy, type 1 diabetes patients without microvascular complications and healthy controls. The main finding of our study was that only cerebral microbleeds, but not ischemic markers of cerebral small vessel disease were more prevalent in type 1 diabetes patients with proliferative retinopathy relative to the other groups. Cerebral microbleeds were also related to microvascular function in skin. This suggest that cerebral microbleeds are part of generalized microangiopathy in patients with type 1 diabetes. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Smoking / 14.01.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Birgitta Ejdervik Lindblad, MD PhD Department of Ophthalmology Örebro University Hospital Örebro, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We have investigated the association between smoking cessation and risk of having a cataract extraction among 44 371 Swedish men aged 45-79 years. During 12 years of follow up we identified 5713 incident cases of cataract extraction. Smoking cessation significantly decreased the risk with time. Men who currently smoked more than 15 cigarettes per day had a 42 % increased risk of cataract extraction compared with men who had never smoked. More than 20 years since quitting smoking, men who had smoked more than 15 cigarettes per day had a 21% increased risk of  having a cataract extraction compared with men who had never smoked. The effect of smoking cessation was observed earlier among men who smoked less than 15 cigarettes per day but more than 2 decades since smoking cessation the risk had not decreased to the level of never smokers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology, Transplantation, UT Southwestern / 31.12.2013

Dr. Jerry Y. Niederkorn, Ph.D. George A. and Nancy P. Shutt Professorship in Medical Sciences Royal C. Miller Chair in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Research Professor of Ophthalmology and Microbiology Vice Chair, Research (Department of Ophthalmology) Department of Ophthalmology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, TXMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jerry Y. Niederkorn, Ph.D. George A. and Nancy P. Shutt Professorship in Medical Sciences Royal C. Miller Chair in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Research Professor of Ophthalmology and Microbiology Vice Chair, Research (Department of Ophthalmology) Department of Ophthalmology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, TX FN-γ Blocks CD4+CD25+ Tregs and Abolishes Immune Privilege of Minor Histocompatibility Mismatched Corneal Allografts MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Niederkorn: These findings indicate that a combination of two simple maneuvers increases the acceptance of corneal transplants. In the past, there was no clear benefit in performing tissue matching of the cornea donor’s major histocompatibility complex (MHC) with the recipient of the corneal transplant. However, our study in experimental animals revealed that blocking a single immune system molecule called interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) combined with matching the corneal transplant donor with the transplant recipient’s MHC gene complex reduced the risk of rejection to less than 10% in the total absence of anti-rejection drugs. This study revealed that blocking this single immune system molecule promoted the development of immune system cells called T regulatory cells (Tregs) that suppressed the lymphocytes that are responsible for attacking organ transplants. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 29.12.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Yang Liu MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Yang Liu Preceptor and David A. Sullivan, MS, PhD, FARVO Senior Scientist, Schepens Eye Research Institute Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, USA  02114 Founder, Tear Film & Ocular Surface SocietyDr. David A. Sullivan, MS, PhD, FARVO Senior Scientist, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, USA  02114 MedicalResearch.com: What is the main finding of the study? Answer: We discovered that azithromycin (AZM) can directly stimulate the function of human meibomian gland epithelial cells. Given this finding, it is possible that this antibiotic may prove beneficial as a treatment for meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), which is the leading cause of dry eye disease in the world. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Ophthalmology / 15.12.2013

Fu-Shin X. Yu, Ph.D. Professor and Director of Research Kresge Eye Institute/Department of Ophthalmology Wayne State University School of Medicine Detroit, MI 48201MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Fu-Shin X. Yu, Ph.D. Professor and Director of Research Kresge Eye Institute/Department of Ophthalmology Wayne State University School of Medicine Detroit, MI 48201

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main results of your study? Dr. Fu-Shin X. Yu: Using genome-wide cDNA array, we identified a large group of gene differentially expressed in healing corneal cells of diabetes mellitus, when compared to normoglycemia, corneas. Gene ontology analysis suggests transforming growth factor (TGFβ) signaling as a major signaling pathway affected by hyperglycemia in diabetes mellitus corneal epithelial cells. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Pain Research / 07.08.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jelle Vehof PhD Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology King’s College London, St Thomas’ Hospital, Waterloo, London, England Department of Ophthalmology & Epidemiology University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Vehof: The current study provides the first empirical evidence that individuals with dry eye disease show altered pain sensitivity. Specifically, this study demonstrates that subjects with DED pain and discomfort complaints have lower pain threshold and pain tolerance of heat-based stimulus compared to those without. These findings support the hypothesis that a subset of persons with DED is more sensitive to pain. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology / 17.07.2013

Chiu-Fang Chou DrPH Division of Diabetes Translation National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion CDC, 4770 Buford Hwy, NE (K-10) Atlanta GA 30341-3727MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chiu-Fang Chou DrPH Division of Diabetes Translation National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion CDC, 4770 Buford Hwy, NE (K-10) Atlanta GA 30341-3727 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? A: We estimated nearly 9 million people aged 40 years and older are visually impaired using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Three out of every four people aged 40 years and older with VI have uncorrected refractive error that could be easily corrected with simple glasses or contact lenses. The ocular disease most associated with visual impairment in our study sample was age-related macular degeneration. Finally, increasing age and low educational attainment were significant predictors of visual impairment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology / 15.07.2013

Michael Belkin, MA, MD Professor of Ophthalmology Director, Ophthalmic Technologies Laboratory Goldschleger Eye Research Institute Tel Aviv University Sheba Medical Center Tel Hashomer 52621 IsraelMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Belkin, MA, MD Professor of Ophthalmology Director, Ophthalmic Technologies Laboratory Goldschleger Eye Research Institute Tel Aviv University Sheba Medical Center Tel Hashomer 52621 Israel MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Belkin: Modern ophthalmic treatment, when freely available is able to reduce the incidence of blindness, and presumably visual impairment considerably. In Israel the rate of new cases of blindness per 100.000 people [age adjusted] was reduced between 1999 and 2010 from 33.8 to 14.8, i.e., by over 56%. The reduction was in all major causes of blindness, Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy and Cataract. In the non-treatable retinal dystrophies such as retinitis pigmentosa, there was no significant changes over this period. (more…)
Duke, Mental Health Research, Ophthalmology / 08.06.2013

From: Duke University

Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy 2020 West Main Street, Suite 201 Box 104410 Durham, North Carolina 27708

TITLE: Retinal Vessel Caliber and Lifelong Neuropsychological Functioning An international research team from the USA, UK, Singapore and New Zealand reports that the size of the blood vessels in the back of the eye can indicate the health of the brain of people approaching midlife (age 38 years), years before age-related declines in brain functioning. PUBLICATION SOURCE: Psychological Science, advance online publication date, May 2013.   BACKGROUND:
  • Young people who score low on IQ tests, tend to be at higher risk for diseases in later life, and even tend to die younger.
  • One plausible explanation for this link is that intelligence tests assess brain health.
  • Digital retinal imaging is a relatively new and non-invasive method to visualize the small blood vessels in the retina, at the back of the eye. The small vessels in the eye may reflect the conditions of the vessels inside the brain because both eye and brain vessels share similar size, structure and function. Thus, retinal imaging can provide a window to study the health of the brain in living humans.
  • We studied the link between retinal vessel width and intelligence tests scores in the representative Dunedin birth cohort of 1000 New Zealanders born in 1972-73, and followed for 38 years with repeated assessments.
  • Using a digital fundus camera, which can photograph the interior surface of the eye, we were able to assess the size of the small blood-vessels in the retina, namely, the arterioles and venules (the small branches of the arteries and veins). We also administered intelligence tests in childhood and adulthood.
THE FINDING:
  • We found that study members who presented with wider venules had poorer intelligence tests scores at midlife (age 38 years). This finding held up independently of potential factors that may explain this link, such as low socio-economic status, smoking, or diabetes.
  • Moreover, wider venules in the eye were linked with lower childhood IQ that had been tested 25 years earlier.
  • (more…)
JAMA, Macular Degeneration, Ophthalmology / 10.05.2013

MedicalResearch.com eInterview with: Emily Y. Chew, MD Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications National Eye Institute (NEI)/National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?
 Dr. Chew: For patients who have intermediate age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or those with advanced AMD in one eye, we have recommended a mixture of vitamins and minerals (vitamin C, E and beta-carotene, and zinc oxide and cupric oxide), known as Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formulation.  We tested the effects of adding carotenoids, lutein/zeaxanthin, or omega-3 fatty acids or both to the AREDS formulation.  Omega-3 fatty acids did not have any effect on AMD.  Addition of lutein/zeaxanthin provided an additional 10% increase in the reduction of progression to advanced AMD.  In persons with the lowest dietary intake of lutein/zeaxanthin, supplementation with lutein/zeaxanthin provided 25% reduction in rates of developing advanced AMD When we tested lutein/zeaxanthin directly against beta-carotene, the risk of progressing to advanced AMD was reduced by 20%. Furthermore, beta-carotene was found to increase the risk of lung cancer.  To improve the safety and efficacy of the AREDS formulation, we would suggest the elimination of beta-carotene and adding lutein/zeaxanthin.  Omega-3 fatty acids added no further benefit. (more…)