Measurement of pressure within the eye, or intraocular pressure (IOP), is known to fluctuate throughout the day, and wide swings in patients with glaucoma are believed to be related to the progression of the disease, which can cause permanent damage to the optic nerve and vision. The clinical assessment of IOP, however, has been restricted to office visits during daytime hours. In a new study, parents using the Icare Rebound Tonometer evaluated IOP patterns in normal children at home, establishing comparative values that may be useful for the study and treatment of children with glaucoma. The research is published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. "Diabetes is monitored by patients using home glucose monitors, but there has been no equivalent home technique for patients to use to measure their own eye pressures - until recently.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the eyes and brains of 27 astronauts who have spent prolonged periods of time in space revealed optical abnormalities similar to those that can occur in intracranial hypertension of unknown cause, a potentially serious condition in which pressure builds within the skull. A retrospective analysis of the MRI data appears online in the journal Radiology. A team of researchers performed MRIs and analyzed the data on the 27 astronauts, each of whom were exposed to microgravity, or zero gravity, for an average of 108 days while on space shuttle missions and/or the International Space Station (ISS), a habitable research facility that has been orbiting the earth since 1998. Eight of the 27 astronauts underwent a second MRI exam after a second space mission that lasted an average of 39 days.
Without looking down, Kira runs her index finger across the screen of an Android tablet that she is holding in her lap. For the occasion, she has painted her fingernails bright pink. When her finger touches a line drawn on the screen, the tablet vibrates quietly. Scanning her finger back and forth and feeling the vibration come and go allows her to trace the line's path. When her finger reaches a pink dot, the tablet gives off an electronic tone and she grins delightedly. Kira is one of two visually impaired high school students who are testing a new Android app, one designed to assist students like her in mastering algebra, geometry, graphing and other subjects that are particularly hard to comprehend without the aid of normal vision. The app is the brainstorm of Jenna Gorlewicz, a graduate student in the Medical and Electromechanical Design Laboratory (MED Lab) at Vanderbilt University, and her adviser Robert Webster, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, who directs the lab.
A new paradigm to explain glaucoma is rapidly emerging, and it is generating brain-based treatment advances that may ultimately vanquish the disease known as the "sneak thief of sight." A review now available in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, reports that some top researchers no longer think of glaucoma solely as an eye disease. Instead, they view it as a neurologic disorder that causes nerve cells in the brain to degenerate and die, similar to what occurs in Parkinson disease and in Alzheimer's. The review, led by Jeffrey L Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, describes treatment advances that are either being tested in patients or are scheduled to begin clinical trials soon.
According to a computer-based mathematical model in the March issue of the JAMA journal Archives of Ophthalmology, middle-aged African-American patients may benefit from a routine national glaucoma screening program. However, the test's potential effect on decreasing visual impairment and blindness could be small. Background information in the study states: "Primary open-angle glaucoma is a chronic, degenerative disease that affects more than 2.2 million Americans and 1.9 percent of Americans older than 40 years. The high prevalence of undiagnosed glaucoma contributes to visual loss, an outcome that is disproportionately common in African American individuals, where as many as 11 percent of elderly patients develop blindness." Joseph A. Ladapo, M.D., Ph.D., previously at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston who is now at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, and his team obtained data from the Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group and Baltimore Eye Study to develop a micro-simulation computer-based model that projects visual outcomes amongst African Americans who receive glaucoma screening under a national screening policy.