Using a mathematical model, investigators have estimated that people with ocular hypertension have a nearly 30% risk of developing glaucoma over 20 years, adjusting for the competing risk of mortality. Among ocular hypertensive patients aged more than 70 years, however, a 90% risk of mortality exists over that 20-year period, suggesting that preventive treatment would have little benefit.
A collaborative effort to design an intracortical visual prosthesis has progressed to the point that tests of a prototype in a human volunteer are being planned. The results of psychophysical testing in normal volunteers indicate that the prosthesis could provide sufficient visual functionality to enable users to perform useful visual tasks.
Both subjective and objective evaluation of diabetic macular edema (DME) can produce good results. In a recent study, the initial results of objective evaluation with retinal imaging technology (Heidelberg Retina Tomograph Retina Module, Heidelberg Engineering) showed good sensitivity and moderate specificity, whereas subjective evaluation by two expert assessors produced high sensitivity and specificity. Nevertheless, with optimization, the results of the two forms of evaluation became more evenly matched, suggesting that the retinal imaging technology can aid clinicians in detecting DME.
Neovascular age-related macular degeneration patients see significant gains in visual acuity when treated with vascular endothelial growth factor therapy
Visual acuity gains occurring in a 12-week, fixed-dose period were maintained throughout the 52-week trial of a novel agent (VEGF Trap-Eye, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals) for neovascular age-related macular degeneration. During the 9-month, as-needed dosing phase, the mean number of injections for all patients was two, and gains in visual acuity of up to nine letters were reported.
In a comparison study of adjunctive medication for glaucoma therapy, the addition of brimonidine tartrate, a selective alpha-adrenergic agonist, to a prostaglandin analog achieved greater pressure-lowering than either of two carbonic anhydrase inhibitors.
Prostaglandin analogues preserved with benzalkonium chloride (BAK) can cause more extensive loss of goblet cells and a breakdown of cell-cell adhesions, which could increase the risk of ocular surface disease, according to findings from a pair of studies conducted in rabbits.
The medical profession was slow to adopt the concept of the risk factor, which was born from the marriage of statistics and probability theory. Gradually, however, it has become central to medicine and science and will assume even more importance in coming years.
Advances have been made recently in both structural and functional tools for glaucoma diagnosis, producing better and faster results.
Mouse model studies explore role of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) in glaucoma-related axon loss. Initial findings revealed a significant difference in relative axon loss between the MMP9 knockout mice and wild-type control mice.
New research in a large family affected with autosomal dominant juvenile-and adult-onset primary open-angle glaucoma has shown that age of onset can predict severity of disease. Researchers also have demonstrated that at least one modifier gene or locus alters the severity of glaucoma caused by a particular myocilin mutation.