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The search for neuro-protective agents for the treatment of glaucoma

Submitted by dave on Thu, 08/06/2009 - 5:00pm

There was an interesting article on BBC today about recent advances in neuroprotection for glaucoma. Here are some highlights from the article:

optic nerve fundus photoLead researcher Dr Stefano Bonini said: "Although neuroprotection in glaucoma has already been attempted with several compounds, this is the first time that an improvement in visual function is observed in patients with advanced optic nerve damage."

David Wright, chief executive of the International Glaucoma Association, warned against drawing firm conclusions from such a small study - but said the results were encouraging.

He said: "There have been many false dawns in the search for neuro-protective agents for the treatment of glaucoma and it is a feature of research on other compounds that early promise does not always translate into clinical effectiveness when larger studies are undertaken.

"However, this research would seem to indicate both effectiveness and acceptability as to the means of drug delivery.

"If these early indications are carried through to wider trials and there are no other problems, then this has the potential to open a completely new method of treating glaucoma and of preventing unnecessary visual loss in the future."

No doubt that sunbeds cause cancer

Submitted by dave on Tue, 07/28/2009 - 7:21pm

I just read this news item:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8172690.stm

There is no doubt using a sunbed or sunlamp will raise the risk of skin cancer, say international experts.

Previously, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) assessed sunbeds and sunlamps as "probably carcinogenic to humans".

But it now says their use is definitively "carcinogenic to humans".

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Better Computer Monitors Coming Soon?

Submitted by dave on Mon, 07/20/2009 - 9:21pm

Many people with vision problems are eagerly awaiting better computer monitors. The ideal monitor would be based on reflective technology (meaning it doesn't emit light), allowing you to read it in normal daylight or even bright sunlight. Ebook readers generally use this technology, but computer monitors do not.

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Excitement raises eye pressure?

Submitted by dave on Sat, 07/11/2009 - 10:03pm

Question: I just had a really fun and exciting time and I measured my intraocular pressure afterwards (via self-tonometry). After this stimulating time, the intraocular pressure was average 25pts. It is usually only 16 this time of night.

Therefore, I think adrenalin plays a big part in my elevated eye pressures.

Does Licorice Increase Intraocular Pressure?

Submitted by dave on Sun, 06/28/2009 - 7:19pm

Does Licorice Increase Intraocular Pressure? I attempted to answer this question for a friend today.

Here is the information I have so far:

1. Glycyrrhizin is the main sweet tasting compound from liquorice root.

2. A derivative of glycyrrhizin is glycyrrhetinic acid.

3. Glycyrrhetinic acid inhibits 11β-HSD1 (11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1; 11βHSD1 is an NADPH-
dependent enzyme highly expressed in the liver and adipose tissue).

Nutritional Supplements: Too Much of a Good Thing by Dr. Reader

Submitted by dave on Sun, 06/28/2009 - 6:08pm

The information in the Review of Ophthalmology article by August L. Reader III, MD, FACS, San Francisco, is very interesting. However, as you read it keep in mind that what is presented is a mix of strongly supported evidence and speculation. For example, section on carrot-family herbs contains a lot of pure speculation. It is still interesting and I have presented a portion of the article here.

Click this link to read the whole article: http://www.revophth.com/index.asp?page=1_479.htm

Can The Optic Nerve Regenerate Itself?

Submitted by dave on Sat, 06/20/2009 - 8:05pm

“The recent discovery that the hippocampus is able to generate new neurons throughout a human’s lifespan has changed the way we think about the mechanisms of psychiatric disorders and drug addiction,” says Wen Jian and colleagues in a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in 2005.

The body's capacity to regenerate always surprises us. Personally, I am confident that the optic nerve can naturally regenerate itself.

 

Lowering of intraocular pressure by wild carrot seed extract in rabbits

Submitted by dave on Fri, 06/19/2009 - 7:53am

In normotensive rabbits topical application of Daucus carota seed extract at the concentration of 0.3, 0.6 and 1.2% resulted in mean IOP reduction of 19.33. 23.20 and 25.61% respectively from baseline.

As no significant difference was observed between the change in IOP in 0.6 and 1.2% extract treated groups, 0.6% concentration was chosen for further evaluation in rabbits with experimentally elevated IOP.

Fast food hamburgers: what are we really eating?

Submitted by dave on Fri, 06/05/2009 - 10:17am

Americans consume about 5 billion hamburgers a year. It is presumed that most hamburgers are Abstract composed primarily of meat. The purpose of this study is to assess the content of 8 fast food hamburger brands using histologic methods. Eight different brands of hamburgers were evaluated for water content by weight and microscopically for recognizable tissue types.

Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) staining was used to evaluate for brain tissue. Water content by weight ranged from 37.7% to 62.4% (mean, 49%).

Brain's Object Recognition System Activated By Touch Alone

Submitted by dave on Mon, 06/01/2009 - 10:17pm

Portions of the brain that activate when people view pictures of objects compared to scrambled images can also be activated by touch alone, confirms a new report published online on May 28th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

"That's the nub of the paper," said Harriet Allen of the University of Birmingham. "Part of the brain is for object processing irrespective of the sensory input coming in."

Instructions for Sample Spreadsheets for Intraocular Pressure Records

Submitted by dave on Mon, 06/01/2009 - 12:30pm

There are two Excel spreadsheets available:

Both have the same column layout for the important data elements, and this is really the only important feature of any spreadsheet to me. The SimpleSample (Measurements tab) shows the key aspects.

Drink Coffee? Have Glaucoma or Elevated Eye Pressure? Read this.

Submitted by dave on Sun, 05/31/2009 - 7:46pm

Avisar R, Avisar E, Weinberger D: Effect of coffee consumption on IOP. Ann Pharmacother 2002;36:992-995.

BACKGROUND: Many ophthalmologists instruct patients with glaucoma to avoid coffee, although data supporting this practice are insufficient.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the effect of drinking coffee on IOP.

The Comfort I Get From Monitoring My Eye Pressure

Submitted by dave on Sat, 05/30/2009 - 2:13pm

With the recent website upgrade to FitEyes.com, I decided to send an email to all registered member. While writing the email I was inspired to discuss more of my experiences with self-tonometry, the process of monitoring my own eye pressure. After I wrote and sent the email, I realized that we have a lot of visitors to FitEyes.com who are not registered and who would not be able to see the experiences and thoughts I shared with the registered members. Therefore, because I feel very passionate about the benefits of self-tonometry, I decided to post the entire email on my blog. Here it is (and now it is updated to reflect recent events such as my grandmother's most recent birthday).

Hi Everyone - I just upgraded the FitEyes.com website. It has been a long, long time since I have sent an email to all members. FitEyes has continued to grow and flourish in recent months. I want to take this opportunity to invite you to visit the new website and let me know what you think. Not only will you see a new design and new features, you will find lots of new content (some of it potentially controversial).

New Website Features

You will see that FitEyes.com has many new features. It is running on open source software now. (For you techies, the operating system is open source too: Ubuntu Linux.) You can form friendships and communicate privately with other FitEyes members. There are lots of other new features, so please explore and try them out.

Self-Monitoring Eye Pressure

It is my strong belief that almost every glaucoma patient or glaucoma suspect (or anyone with elevated intraocular pressure) will benefit greatly from self-tonometry. The practice of frequently monitoring your own eye pressure in your daily life will be universal in the future -- just as monitoring blood sugar is a normal part of managing diabetes today.

Meeting To Discuss Non-medical Management of Eye Pressure and Self-Tonometry

Submitted by dave on Sat, 05/30/2009 - 1:59pm

This year the World Glaucoma Congress (WGC) is taking place in the United States (Boston, MA) from July 8th to 11th. Dr. Ritch will be there, as will Marcel and I.

I believe all of you know, or know of, Dr. Ritch. Marcel is a key founder of the International Society for Self-Tonometry (ISST), of which Dr. Ritch is Honorary Chairman. Marcel is a driving force behind getting me and several other self-tonometrists together in Boston.

No disease in the brain of a 115-year-old woman

Submitted by dave on Fri, 05/29/2009 - 3:28pm

Are there limits to the duration of high quality of life? Are there limits to healthy life for a human brain? [These questions are relevalant for vision as well as cognitive health because the optic nerve is part of the central nervous system.]

Molecular pathology of age-related macular degeneration

Submitted by dave on Fri, 05/29/2009 - 11:20am

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. Although the etiology and pathogenesis of AMD remain largely unclear, a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors is thought to exist. AMD pathology is characterized by degeneration involving the retinal photoreceptors, retinal pigment epithelium, and Bruch’s membrane, as well as, in some cases, alterations in choroidal capillaries.

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