Diabetic Retinopathy News
...continued from Current Diabetic Retinopathy News
Diabetic Kids at Risk for Vision Loss Are Not
Getting Regular Eye Exams
HONOLULU, November 2011 Although they are at risk for diabetes-related vision loss, children and youths with diabetes are not getting enough eye exams, according to guidelines of the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
A recent study included 1,514 young people who answered a questionnaire regarding the diabetes care they had received. The ADA has recommended guidelines for eye exams, blood pressure, kidney care and blood levels of various substances such as glycohemoglobin, and five of these indicators were used to evaluate the surveys.
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Here are the findings:
- 95 percent had blood pressure checks at all or most visits.
- 88 percent had lipid levels checked.
- 83 percent had kidney function tested.
- 68 percent had their glycohemoglobin checked.
- 66 percent had eye exams according to ADA recommendations.
The youths who were older, especially those over 18 with type 2 diabetes, tended to have fewer tests of all kinds performed. Also, youths in lower-income households were less likely to meet the ADA guidelines.
A report of this study appeared online in the journal Pediatrics in August.
Scientists Regenerate Damaged Retinas Using
Stem Cells From Skin
BOSTON, May 2011 Exciting new treatments for retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa may result from a just-reported study involving conversion of skin stem cells from mice into pluripotent stem cells and then into retinal neurons.
Thirty-three days after the skin cells were harvested, the cells were ready to be placed into mouse eyes that had retinal disease. After four to six weeks the cells had begun to reside in the retina and assemble into retinal tissue that looked healthy and showed an increase in electrical activity about half of what occurs in a normal retina.
Pluripotent skin cells are very similar to embryonic cells, but since they come from skin and not embryos, they aren't subject to the same ethical and other issues.
"We are very excited about these results," said Dr. Budd Tucker, the study report's first author, in a release. "While other researchers have been successful in converting skin cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and subsequently into retinal neurons, we believe that this is the first time that this degree of retinal reconstruction and restoration of visual function has been detected."
The researchers, from Schepens Eye Research Institute, plan to test the procedure in larger animals and eventually in humans. The study report appeared in the online science journal PLoS ONE in May.
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[Page updated May 2013]
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