Macular edema is a swelling of the macula, the part of the eye responsible for central vision. When fluid builds up in the macula, it becomes swollen and thicker. This distorts vision. There are several causes, including diabetic retinopathy, post-eye surgery complications, macular degeneration, injury, systemic inflammatory diseases that can affect the eye, and/or vein blockages. If an eye disease causes damage to blood vessels in the retina, it can cause macular edema. Left untreated, this problem can cause serious vision loss and even blindness.
Stem cells are the area of greatest potential in current medicine. They can turn into any tissue in the body and can therefore conceivably be used for treatment of countless diseases. Previous research and trials currently taking place use embryonic stem cells, however, their use is ethically controversial and carries the risk of rejection by a patient’s tissues. Of great interest is the developing technology in stem cells for macular degeneration.
OpRegen Stem Cell Technology Shows Promise for Macular Degeneration
Cell Cure Neurosciences in Jerusalem has developed a proprietary stem cell technology that may halt the progress of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. OpRegen1 is currently being tested on patients with the more advanced “wet” form of this disease. If it works out, the technique could ultimately be available to patients with the more common “dry” form of Continue reading →
A breakthrough operation has regenerated the lenses of 12 children using stem cells. Cataracts are a clouding of the lens that typically occurs in the elderly. It is the leading cause of blindness (left untreated).
Standard treatment of cataracts is inserting an artificial intraocular lens. However, this requires waiting until the cataracts “ripen”, or cataract surgery is often recommended Continue reading →
Examining the eyes of animals has revealed a test for very early Parkinson’s Disease. This research may translate into an eye test for humans. If so, it offers hope to the 1 in 500 people worldwide who will develop Parkinson’s by allowing treatment to slow the condition in its earliest stages.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. Symptoms include muscle tremors, stiffness, and slow movement. It is not fatal by itself, but it reduces the quality of life. There is currently no definitive test, and doctors cannot diagnose this neurological Continue reading →
Glutathione is a “super-antioxidant” that benefits the entire body. It is one of the few antioxidants that can neutralize the full spectrum of free radicals. Glutathione is a compound involved as a coenzyme in oxidation–reduction reactions in cells. It is a tripeptide derived from glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine and acts both an intracellular antioxidant and a regulator of all other antioxidants. This substance helps prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals and peroxides. It is very important for the health of the eye’s retina and lens.
Low glutathione levels in the body have been linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and aging in general.
The body is capable of producing glutathione. However, it needs a combination of nutreints to do this including the amino acids L-cysteine, L-Glutamine and L-Glycine, Vitamin C, selenium and alpha lipoic acid . Glutamate and glycine are non-essential amino acids because they are manufactured by the body itself. The typical diet does not contain cysteine in large quantities. Therefore, supplementation ensures a significant amount of this antioxidant is Continue reading →
Acupuncture has been used for millennia to treat eye disease. Today, acupuncture can help preserve vision for those with a wide range of eye conditions including macular degeneration, glaucoma, eye floaters, dry eyes, cataracts and much more. Part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture involves a practitioner inserting tiny needles into the skin. It is licensed and regulated by most states in the US. How does acupuncture work, and what are its effects on supporting eye conditions? What could you expect from acupuncture treatments? What can you do at home?
Natural Eye Care owners Michael Edson, L.Ac. and Marc Grossman, OD, L.Ac are both licensed acupuncturists specializing in the eye; Dr. Grossman is also a Doctor of Optometry. Here are the answers to these questions and more. Continue reading →
Low antioxidant levels in eye tissue are directly correlated to incidence of macular degeneration. A small study found a relationship between low intake of antioxidants and advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Macular Degeneration is an eye disease associated with aging. Many middle-aged and elderly individuals seek to prolong good vision and prevent eye disease.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
This study looked at low intake of antioxidants with specific focus on lutein and zeaxanthin. Antioxidants fight free-radical damage. They protect the eyes and body from damage due to free radicals. Their intake was measured by the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed. Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids especially important for vision. They are found in some brightly-colored produce and other foods such as eggs. Carotenoids give fruits and vegetables their color. Continue reading →
The role of supplemental oxygen in diabetic macular edema was the subject of a pilot study in 2004. Diabetic macular edema or DME is a side-effect of diabetes. DME occurs when retinal blood vessels leak into the macula apparently trying to provide more oxygen to the retina. This leakage causes swelling, which, in turn, causes part of central vision to become blurred.
The study gave 5 DME patients supplemental oxygen using a standard oxygen supplying device called a nasal cannula (see photo). The patients were tested before, during and after three months of oxygen therapy. The results showed a significant reduction in excess foveal thickness and Continue reading →
An antibody known as aducanumab may be helpful in removing amyloid plaque in Alzheimer’s patients.
Alzheimer’s: Where we are now
The presence of amyloid plaque deposits in the brain are characteristic Alzheimer’s disease. The condition presents as amyloid plaque deposits, tangles in the brain neurons, poorly functioning nerve synapses and nerve cell deterioration. Alzheimer’s is linked to glaucoma, cerebrovascular disease, poor sleep and to nutrient deficiencies. A number of possibilities exist for improving the condition or slowing its development, including a number of different drugs, antioxidants, some cancer drugs, and compounds found in green tea.
Does Alzheimer’s disease cause poor sleep, or is it the other way around? Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University are conducting a study to find out. The results might show that poor sleep leads to Alzheimer’s. If so, this study may help determine who is at highest risk of developing the disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is marked by the build-up of plaque and tangles in the brain. This causes neurological damage. Early symptoms include short-term memory loss. Later, language
problems, disorientation, motivation loss, moodiness, difficulty caring for oneself and behavioral problems arise.