Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 02.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Jeremy A. Guggenheim School of Optometry & Vision Sciences Cardiff University, UKProfessor Jeremy A. Guggenheim School of Optometry & Vision Sciences Cardiff University, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Near-sightedness (myopia) usually develops during childhood and necessitates the use of glasses or contact lenses to correct blurry distance vision. It is also a risk factor for sight-threatening disorders such as glaucoma, retinal detachment and macular degeneration. Promising treatments designed to slow the progression of myopia are becoming available. Building on previous research suggesting that some individuals are genetically predisposed to near-sightedness, we investigated whether a genetic test could identify children at risk of developing myopia.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology / 14.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sumayya Ahmad, MD Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The cornea is usually curved like a basketball or a globe. Roughly all of the edges are about equal distant from the center. With this shape, light enters the eye normally and the image is not distorted.  However, not all eyes are shaped that way. About 30% of eyes have  astigmatism, in which the cornea is shaped like a football, or elongated in one axis. If the longest diameter is up and down, we call that with the rule astigmatism, and if it is to the side, we call that against-the rule astigmatism. A lot of studies have been devoted to astigmatism over the years, but nobody has looked at it from a population perspective in the United States and tried to figure out the relationships it may have. Most studies are from one center or other country's databases, but not ours. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, or NHANES, is a survey composed in the United States each year that looks at a representative sample of people from across the country. It's a great way to study the relationship between the environment and people. We tried to look at demographic factors (like age, gender, race) and ocular factors related to against and with the rule astigmatism. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Environmental Risks, Genetic Research, Ophthalmology, PLoS / 09.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrei V. Tkatchenko, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor Columbia University Medical Center Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute New York, NY 10032 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Clear distance vision is rapidly becoming a rare privilege around the world, especially in Asia, due to increasing prevalence of myopia. Although much effort has been directed towards elucidating the mechanisms underlying refractive eye development and myopia, treatment options for myopia are mostly limited to optical correction, which does not prevent progression of myopia or pathological blinding complications often associated with the disease. During early childhood development, the axial length of the eye normally grows to match its optical power in a process called emmetropization, producing focused images on the retina. However, very often environmental and genetic factors lead to a mismatch between the optical power of the eye and its axial length resulting in the development of myopia if eyes grow too long for their optical power. Experimental studies in many animal species suggest that emmetropization is regulated by optical defocus. The eye can compensate for imposed negative and positive optical defocus by increasing or decreasing its growth rate, respectively. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying emmetropization are poorly understood which prevents development of anti-myopia drugs. (more…)