A study, published Online First by Archives of Neurology, reveals that persistent eye tremors seem to be common in individuals suffering from Parkinson's disease (PD). Ocular tremors can prevent eye stability during fixation and results from the study indicate that precise oculomotor testing could provide an early physiological biomarker for diagnosing Parkinson's disease. George T. Gitchel, M.S., of the Southeast Parkinson's Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Richmond, Va., and his team explain: "Although a number of studies describe various oculomotor abnormalities in subjects with PD, conflicts about the specific deficits remain." The researchers conducted the study in order to examine oculomotor function in 112 individuals with Parkinson's disease and a group of 60 healthy individuals.
Mice with impaired vision had their eyesight restored when light-sensitive photoreceptors were transplanted into their eyes, researchers from University College London Institute of Ophthalmology reported in the journal Nature. The authors believe that transplanting photoreceptors may form the basis for new treatment to help patients with degenerative eye diseases see again. Photoreceptors are light-sensitive nerve cells that line the back of the eye. The scientists took cells from young healthy mice and injected them into the retinas of adult mice that had no functional rod-photoreceptors. Several human diseases that cause loss of eyesight are due to a loss of photoreceptors; examples include diabetes-related blindness, retinitis pigmentosa, and age-related macular degeneration. The eye has rods and cones - two types of photoreceptors.
Researchers at the University of Tokyo's School of Medicine have shown for the first time that caffeine intake can significantly increase the eye's ability to produce tears, a finding that could improve treatment of dry eye syndrome. This common eye condition affects about four million people age 50 and older in the United States. For many, dry eye syndrome is simply uncomfortable and annoying, but for others it escalates into a vision-threatening disease. All of the 78 participants in the new study produced significantly more tears after consuming caffeine than after taking a placebo. The study is available in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Dry eye syndrome involves malfunction of the rate of tear production, the quality of tears, and/or the rate of evaporate from the surface of the eye.
Just because a driver has passed the motor vehicle administration's vision test may not mean he or she is safe to drive. A recent study found that the frequency and distance at which drivers with moderate levels of blurred vision and cataracts recognize pedestrians at night was severely reduced, even when the drivers have passed the required vision test. "Optical blur and cataracts are very common and lots of people with these conditions continue to drive, " said author Joanne Wood of the School of Optometry and Vision Science and Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at Queensland University of Technology. "The aim of our study was to better understand how these visual conditions affect the ability to recognize and respond to roadside pedestrians at nighttime, and we also wanted to see if certain types of pedestrian clothing could improve the ability of a driver to recognize pedestrians at night, even when the driver had some level of visual loss.
According to a study published Online First by Archives of Ophthalmology, bevacizumab appears to be more effective at treating diabetic macular edema (swelling of the retina) than macular laser therapy. The researchers of the randomized controlled trial found that among participants with persistent clinically significant diabetic macular edema (CSME), bevacizumab showed to be effective at 12 months and was maintained through 24 months. For the past 30 years, Modified Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) macular laser therapy (MLT) has been the leading treatment for individuals suffering from CSME. Although MLT lowers the risk of moderate visual loss, improved treatments have been sought as visual acuity only improves in less than 3% of patients (a 15-letter gain at 3 years).