A pilot study has found that for patients who were not responding well to depression medication, adding the over-the-counter supplement S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) improved their condition. The research appeared in the April 2015 edition of Advances in Integrative Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal.
About 40% of depressed patients who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) have mixed results, and 30% have poor results. SSRI is a standard pharmaceutical treatment for clinical depression, and the medication can have side effects Continue reading
Future treatments for macular degeneration (AMD), Stargardt’s disease, and retinitis pigmentosa may include bone marrow stem cell injections, if a new line of eye research pans out. A preliminary pilot study on six subjects with one of several ischemic eye diseases found that most patients had vision improvement after receiving injections of their own bone marrow.
The purpose of the study was to find out if there were any adverse side effects and to test for vision improvement. The only significant negative side effect was some pain after bone marrow Continue reading
Scientists have partially restored sight in blind mice using a protein to repair damaged cells in the retina. These experiments may ultimately lead to treatments that restore sight in patients with progressive degenerative retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration.
The research at the University of Bern in Switzerland and the University of Göttingen in Germany used “optogenetics,” which involves utilizing light to control neurons. They introduced new light-sensing proteins called Opto-mGluR6 into the eye. In essence, this turned the old cells into photoreceptors. These cells were then able to process Continue reading
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has been linked to supplementing more than 800 mg of calcium per day. The link was strongest in the elderly, who suffer from AMD the most. The research was a cross-sectional study of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. The RDA for calcium (CA) for adults is 1,000 mg; 1200 mg for women over 50. However, changes to the recommended total daily intake of CA have not been suggested.
This research was conducted at the University of California, SF, and appeared in JAMA Ophthalmology April 2015. It was based on surveys of calcium supplementation and AMD. In the past, the researchers had a similar finding with Continue reading
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is an eye disease that can cause serious vision loss, and it is usually inherited. Its symptoms can begin at any age and include reduced peripheral vision (tunnel vision), night blindness, difficulty adapting to changes in light levels, and eventually, blindness. RP is a type of retinal dystrophy that results in progressive degeneration of rod photoreceptor cells. While this disease is degenerative, much can be done to reduce or delay its effects.
How Retinitis Pigmentosa Is Diagnosed
Any changes in vision should be reported to an eye doctor immediately. Initially, RP patients may notice gradual changes in peripheral vision — the vision to the sides, top and bottom of the field of vision. Any symptoms Continue reading
Medical marijuana, or cannabis, is being legalized in more and more American states. For more than 40 years, the effect of medical marijuana on glaucoma has been studied. As cannabis becomes more accessible — and legal — glaucoma patients are becoming more interested in how this drug could help with their condition.
Medical marijuana has been shown in studies to decrease intraocular pressure (IOP) in glaucoma patients. The National Eye Institute found that although medical marijuana lowered IOP after taking the drug, the pressure is decreased for only 3 to 4 hours. This is considered Continue reading
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the US(1), and yet many cases of glaucoma begin symptomless. In fact, 3 million-plus Americans are estimated to have glaucoma, but only half of them have been diagnosed(2). Glaucoma can affect anyone, but it is especially prevalent in persons over age 60. Everyone should have regular eye exams throughout their lives to screen for glaucoma, especially a dilated eye exam. Glaucoma tends to run in families, but anyone can get it.
How Glaucoma Is Diagnosed
Most people are familiar with the puff of air or the glaucoma device that looks like a metal light pen that is a standard part of any eye exam. The test measures Continue reading
Researchers at Rice University have designed a new smartphone-connected system called “mobileVision” that lets optometrists view the retina without using dilating drops. This device promises to avoid the inconvenience associated with dilating drops and make diagnostic eye exams easier in third-world countries. This could allow eye doctors to detect eye disease in its early stages, when treatment is most effective.
Described as a “reverse microscope,” mobileVision builds on technology used in astronomy to view stars from the Continue reading
A new method has been studied for turning cells into multipurpose stem cells. The technique, which exposes cells to a mild acid bath, may present a more efficient source of stem cells than those currently in use. While this method was only performed in a study with mice, the hope is it can be reproduced with human cells in the future.
The new method was tested by researchers in Kobe, Japan and in Boston. To achieve pluripotency, Continue reading
People in developing countries can face huge hurdles getting cataracts correctly diagnosed and treated. A new smartphone app called “Vula” helps diagnose cataracts using a photograph. A routine and very short cataract surgery can then be scheduled. This app is helping overcome barriers to treating this very common source of vision impairment and blindness.
Cataracts are a film that form on the lens of the Continue reading