Glaucoma cure may lie in targeting ‘stiff cells’ that impede fluid drainage

Glaucoma cure may lie in targeting ‘stiff cells’ that impede fluid drainage

A unique international study that is unusual because it points to a mechanical feature of cells as a cause of disease suggests glaucoma arises when certain cells in the eye become stiff and impede drainage of fluid, causing pressure to build up. Treatments that target this stiffness could lead to a cure for glaucoma, say the researchers.

Glaucoma – a group of conditions that damage the optic nerve – is the second leading cause of blindness globally, after cataracts. It is caused by build-up of fluid in the eye, resulting in high pressure.

According to the US volunteer organization Prevent Blindness, there are currently over 2.7 million Americans aged 40 and older living with open-angle glaucoma – the kind that primarily affects people of African or European origin. Continue reading

Lifetime of outdoor activity ‘may contribute to eye disease’

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Where you live, how much time spend in the sun and whether or not you wear sunglasses or not may all indirectly contribute to your risk of glaucoma and cataract over the course of a lifetime, according to new research.

All of these factors may increase the likelihood of exfoliation syndrome (XFS), the leading cause of secondary open-angle glaucoma and increased risk of cataract complications. Continue reading

Brain mechanism underlying the recognition of hand gestures develops even when blind

Does a distinctive mechanism work in the brain of congenitally blind individuals when understanding and learning others’ gestures? Or does the same mechanism as with sighted individuals work? Japanese researchers figured out that activated brain regions of congenitally blind individuals and activated brain regions of sighted individuals share common regions when recognizing human hand gestures. They indicated that a region of the neural network that recognizes others’ hand gestures is formed in the same way even without visual information. The findings are discussed in The Journal of Neuroscience (July 23, 2014 electronic edition). Continue reading

New target identified for treatment of abnormal blood vessels and leakage in common eye diseases

Working with mice, a multicenter team of researchers has found a new way to reduce the abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage in the eye that accompany some eye diseases. The finding could lead to the development of new drugs for wet macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema.

The team reports their findings in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The current standard of clinical care for wet macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema is repeated injections into the eye of antibodies against a protein called VEGF. Each injection costs thousands of dollars. This study revealed a way to indirectly mitigate the bad effects of VEGF by activating a biochemical chain of events, or pathway, which suppresses the protein. Continue reading

Cancer body endorses crizal

CANCER Council Australia has endorsed Crizal UV lenses, which offer protection against UV radiation from the front and back surfaces of the lens.

Essilor Australia has signed a licensing and endorsement agreement with Cancer Council Australia for Crizal UV, effective immediately.

A statement from Essilor said the agreement will enable it to promote Crizal UV as the only prescription lens endorsed by Cancer Council for providing wearers with the maximum level of protection possible against the damaging effects of UV radiation.

The endorsement is based on Crizal UV’s technology that protects against back surface UV reflection and reduces UV radiation from entering a wearer’s eyes through the front of the lens. “Australian Optometry

Position Title: Chief Executive Officer of the SAOA

The CEO serves as chief executive of the SAOA and, in partnership with the Board is responsible for the success of the Association. Together the Board and CEO assure the SAOA’s relevance within the healthcare environment and the accomplishment of the SAOA’s vision and mission, and the accountability of the SAOA to its stakeholders.
The board delegates responsibility for management and day-to-day operations to the CEO and s/he has the authority to carry out these responsibilities in accordance with the direction and policy of the Association. The CEO provides direction and enabling to the Board as it carries out its governance functions. Continue reading