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Business & Profession Basic & Translational Research, Cornea / Ocular Surface, Retina, Refractive

Also in the News…

Credit: Svenska: Aula Medica med gården "Stenbrottet", 3 april 2020 by Sinikka Halme, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

From gender differences in intracranial pressure diagnosing, to innovations in CRISPR gene editing for treating inherited retinal diseases, these are the trailblazing studies that caught our attention this week…

Predicting pressure. Optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) is currently used to predict elevated intracranial pressure (ICP), but are there any gender-based diagnostic differences? Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, performed an observational study on 139 patients (65 female and 74 male) with invasive ICP monitoring. The team found that while ONSD can be a useful predictor for ICP in females, its predictive quality is less robust in males. As such, the reachers recommend that, if these findings are verified by additional studies, the use of ONSD as a predictive tool for ICP should be reconsidered. Link

Adora2a for AMD. A team of scientists from the Medical College of Georgia, USA, have discovered that Adora2a – a gene related to higher prevalence of coronary lesions – might also correlate with the clinical outcomes of AMD patients. They found that, when Adora2a is deleted in the endothelial cells of mouse models, it can prevent subretinal fibrosis. In light of these findings, the scientists now plan to try and develop an antibody for Adora2a in an attempt to block the excessive blood vessel growth found in early-stage AMD, as well as the fibrosis of late-stage AMD. Link

CRISPR for inherited retinal conditions. Massachusetts Eye and Ear recently released results of an innovative clinical trial, BRILLIANCE, in which researchers demonstrated the efficacy of CRISPR gene editing for treating the inherited retinal degeneration caused by Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). The technique demonstrated measurable improvements in 11 of 14 trial participants, with the researchers indicating that these promising results “support further research of in vivo CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to treat inherited retinal degenerations.” Link

Amniotic membrane replacement. Looking to create an alternative to human amniotic membranes (hAM) currently used in ocular surface surgery, a multidisciplinary group of UK-based researchers developed the biosynthetic Symatix membrane (SM). In this TVST study, the team assessed the biocompatibility of their creation with human limbus-derived epithelial cells. Testing for biological properties, such as metabolic activity and cell migration, the researchers concluded that SM’s biocompatibility with corneal epithelial cells indicated a viable alternative to hAM. Link

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About the Author
Alun Evans

Coming from a creative writing background, I have a great interest in fusing original, narrative-driven concepts with informative, educational content. Working at The Ophthalmologist allows me to connect with the great minds working in the field of contemporary eye care, and explore the human element involved in their scientific breakthroughs.

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