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    8 things you missed at ARVO and ACSRS 2016


    Blueberries may protect against dry eye disease

    Pterostilbene (PS), a natural dietary compound found in blueberries and chemically related to resveratrol, protects against dry eye disease. When introduced to human corneal epithelial cells, PS significantly reduced the levels of oxidative damage, in turn reducing inflammation.

    “It's not surprising to me that organic compounds will help reduce ocular surface stress and oxidation,” says Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member Leslie O’Dell, OD, FAAO. “It's exciting to have data supporting that pterostilbene decreases oxidative stress on the human cornea. My role as a nutritionist continues to grow for my patient from posterior segment disease to the anterior segment.”

    Related: How diabetes affects contact lens wear

    Ebola may lead to blindness

    Ebola survivors may be at risk of severe vision loss or blindness weeks after being declared virus-free.

    Researchers performed a retrospective review of 50 Ebola survivors with uveitis from a cohort of 277 Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone. The study found that approximately one in five Ebola survivors develops uveitis a median of three weeks after being discharged from treatment centers, and a third of those patients develop severe vision impairment or blindness.

    Researchers say the study’s results highlight the urgent need for eyecare providers and resources in the Ebola-affected areas.

    Related: 7 things you missed at Vision Expo East 2016

    ARGUS II prosthesis reports positive results

    Researchers presented the latest on the ARGUS II, a prosthesis that restores some central vision in patients with only limited peripheral vision remaining. Four patients with significant central vision loss from dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) received the implant.

    Patients did not report any confusion with the implant on and both eyes open. According to researchers, one patient performed significantly better on direction and motion testing with the system on than off, and the patient reported he could recognize the outline of faces and some facial characteristics, such as an opened/closed mouth within his central vision.

    Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member Steven Ferucci, OD, FAAO, says Argus II is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use only in patients with profound vision loss from retinitis pigmentosa. This latest study was the first time Argus II was used in patients with dry AMD. 

    “This is the first step to see if the Argus II could be beneficial in patients with dry AMD, specifically geographic atrophy,” says Dr. Ferucci. “While only four patients, and a short follow-up (0.2 to 5.6 months), not much can be drawn other than the procedure was mostly successful, and the patients seem to tolerate the Argus II—at least initially.”

    He says there will need to be follow-up studies to assess any long-term complications, but this study is the first step to figure out if this technology will be useful for patients with dry AMD.

    Next: Glaucoma drug-dispensing silicone ring eye insert shows promise

    Colleen E. McCarthy
    Colleen McCarthy is a freelance writer based in the Cleveland area and a former editor of Optometry Times. She is a 2010 graduate of the ...


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