Gene Therapy for Macular Degeneration

April 26, 2014

A recent press release from Oxford BioMedica, a biopharmaceutical company, reveals progress in the research of gene therapy as a potential treatment for wet macular degeneration. Faulty genes play an important role in the development of AMD. While there are many things we can control such as diet, exercise, and lifestyle, we can’t control the genes we inherit.

Find out where the study is being conducted, how the corrected genes are administered and what it can mean for those with AMD:





Micro-Pulse Laser – alternative to Anti-VEGF Injections

April 26, 2014

 IRIDEX Corporation (IRIX) announced that an educational story based on its innovative MicroPulse technology for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), was recently featured on the Washington, D.C. edition of “American Health Front,” a health news program focused on advances in medical techniques and technologies.


At the American Academy of Ophthalmology seminar in New Orleans, a busy booth was Iridex (Mountain View, California), which has recently been showing robust sales growth and improving profitability under the astute management of CEO Will Moore. The company, which has a sterling reputation in the ophthalmic laser space for two decades, sponsored a series of informative talks at its booth on the myriad applications for its laser products.

David Dickman, MD, of the Universal Eye Center (Rolesville, North Carolina) discussed Iridex’s 532 nm micropulse laser in a talk titled “A Comprehensive Laser for the Comprehensive Ophthalmologist: Clinical and Economical Advantages.”

MicroPulse technology is a promising, tissue-sparing laser therapy that allows the tissue to cool between laser pulses, minimizing or preventing tissue damage. Drugs injected directly into the eye have a role in treating retinal diseases, but there are serious issues in terms of costs and logistics due to the need for continuous injections for the rest of one’s life. This is just not a sustainable model in today’s value-based medicine world. MicroPulse offers powerful advantages, in terms of durability, economics and logistics for payors and patients.

For more info:



ORCAM – New Smart Reading Device

April 22, 2014


OrCam harnesses the power of Artificial Vision to compensate for lost visual abilities. OrCam is a sensor that sees what is in front of you, understands what information you seek and provides it to you through a bone-conduction earpiece.



OrCam is a smart camera mounted on the frames of your eyeglasses, which “sees” text, recognizes objects and “whispers” in your ear.



The OrCam device enables you to read books or newspapers, verify money note denominations, and even identify which product or item you are pointing at.


Easy to Use. All you have to do is point.


OrCam can read printed text, in real time.


Recognize your personal objects.


You can personalize your OrCam device by teaching it to recognize specific objects around you.


In the future, OrCam will be equipped with facial recognition, the ability to recognize places, colors and much more.


Cost: $2,500


For more info:

a bone-conduction earpiece.

Breakthrough in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Therapy

April 5, 2014

Scientists at Trinity College Dublin have made a major breakthrough with important implications for sufferers of the eye disease Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), which can cause central blindness in sufferers.

 The scientists found that a component of the immune system, ‘IL-18’, acts as a guardian of eyesight by suppressing the production of damaging  behind the retina at the back of the eye. In addition, in pre-clinical models, it was shown that ‘IL-18’ can be administered in a non-invasive way, which could represent a major improvement on the current therapeutic options that are open to patients.
The Trinity scientists found that IL-18 directly inhibits VEGF production, and that it can work as effectively as the current treatment when administered via a non-invasive intravenous injection in pre-clinical settings.
for more info:

What do you do when you want to up-grade your CCTV?

April 3, 2014

The following article is by Lauren Tappan:

 Every time I have to purchase AT equipment, I have to do a lot
of research on my own.  We went to the Raleigh Lion’s Club for a look at Davinici  and it’s relationship to the I-Pad.
This week I will get a look at Optelec  ClearView Plus Speech and Prodigy.
 It seems that there is a new generation of AT machines that can act as a CCTV, magnify, read and save text. I have a library of books, essays and articles I want to read quickly.  I could scan this text and download each page to my computer.  After more steps, I could then read the page using Zoom Text.  These new AT machines allow me to read the text immediately without all of these steps.  Some of these machines can interface with Apple iOS devices which means that your AT world is portable..  In this way the low-vision user can replace several AT devices with one machine.
     You can arrange to have a demonstration of this AT equipment at the NC Assistive Technology Center in Raleigh, NC., The Industry for the Blind in Winston-Salem, NC or you can contact the Community Low-Vision Center at the UNC Kittner Eye Center in Chapel Hill,NC.
     We will see where all of this leads me.  More to come.