Two gene mutations cause melanoma of the eye


Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a therapeutic target for treating the most common form of eye cancer in adults. They have also, in experiments with mice, been able to slow eye tumour growth with an existing FDA-approved drug.

The findings are published online in the journal Cancer Cell.

“The beauty of our study is its simplicity,” said Kun-Liang Guan, PhD, professor of pharmacology at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Centre and co-author of the study. “The genetics of this cancer are very simple and our results have clear implications for therapeutic treatments for the disease.” Continue reading

Four research trials show smell and eye tests offer potential to detect Alzheimer’s early

A decreased ability to identify odour’s might indicate the development of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, while examinations of the eye could indicate the build-up of beta-amyloid, a protein associated with Alzheimer’s, in the brain, according to the results of four research trials reported at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® 2014 (AAIC® 2014) in Copenhagen.

In two of the studies, the decreased ability to identify odours was significantly associated with loss of brain cell function and progression to Alzheimer’s disease. In two other studies, the level of beta-amyloid detected in the eye (a) was significantly correlated with the burden of beta-amyloid in the brain and (b) allowed researchers to accurately identify the people with Alzheimer’s in the studies. Continue reading

Night vision adversely affected by alcohol

Ethanol in the tear-film is one of the causes: it covers the surface of the eye, disturbs the outer layer and favours evaporation of the aqueous content of the tear, deteriorating the optical quality of the image we see

The deterioration in vision is significantly greater in subjects with breath alcohol content over 0.25mg/litre, the legal limit for driving recommended by the World Health Organization

A study conducted by the University of Granada has scientifically proven that alcohol consumption markedly impairs night-vision because it increases the perception of halos – luminous circles – and other visual night-time disturbances. Moreover, this deterioration of vision is significantly greater in subjects with breath alcohol content in excess of 0.25mg/litre – the legal limit for driving in Spain and other countries and, also, that recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Continue reading

Researchers develop high-precision software for diagnosing eye sensitivity.

Researchers at the University of Alicante have developed high-precision software for diagnosing eye sensitivity. This is a new technology that allows to quantify the degree of opacity in the posterior capsule of the eye caused by the growth of cells in the intraocular lens.

The opacity of the posterior capsule is currently the most important aspect of cataract surgery in modern times, and is the postoperative complication that can still occur months or years after cataract surgery. This is reported to occur between 20% and up to 50% of patients in the period of five years after surgery, and is associated with the decreased of visual acuity, impaired contrast sensitivity and glare problems that involve significant social, medical and economic impact. Continue reading

Immune response damaging in acute glaucoma

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Sun Yat-sen University in China have shown that acute glaucoma in mice is largely an inflammatory disease and that high pressure in the eye causes vision loss by setting in motion an inflammatory response similar to that evoked by bacterial infections.

The study, published in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has immediate clinical relevance in treating the tens of millions of people worldwide from what is known as acute closed-angle glaucoma. Continue reading

First issue of 20Twenty

facebook picMembers, look out for your free first issue of 20Twenty, a trendy, modern magazine for the young, as well as the not so young optometrist, endorsed by the SA Optometric Association (SAOA). The magazines main aim is to provide you with articles that you want to read, research that you need to be aware of, answers to some thorny issues and to introduce you to all kinds of new and exciting products.

In addition to improving the quality of eye care the SAOA has taken a stance against fraud within our profession. Fraud not only taints our profession but it increases the costs of eye care in general and renders our profession unsustainable in the long run. As such, in the spirit of improving the image and the viability of the profession and combating fraud, the SAOA together with other key stakeholder has taken an initiative to develop posters that highlight its stance on fraud. This posters will be enclosed in the 20Twenty publication. We encourage members to display this posters in a prominent place.

Retrenchment liability by Mark Corke

So often I speak to sellers of businesses who tell me how concerned they are that the future of their staff will be safe after their businesses have been sold.

While this may be an admirable sentiment, it is rather more self-serving than the sellers often realise. The failure of the purchaser to look after the business, keep it afloat, and keep the staff employed is something which should be rather closer to the heart of the seller than one would at first imagine. Continue reading