Stargardts, Saffron and Vitamin A

June 30, 2015

The following is from Lauren Tappan:

If anyone with Stargardts has been following my blog/notes
on taking Saffron instead of Vitamin A for my eyes, you might want
to read this.
I was taking Saffron and found it helpful  in stabilizing and
improving my eyesight.  Because I have Stargardts, I cannot absorb
Vitamin A very well so I started taking Saffron as a substitute for
Vitamin A.
Unfortunately, Saffron has also led to some systemic inflammation.  Therefore, I am no longer taking
Saffron and am now taking Visiocell.  You can find Visiocell on the web.
    Hope this helps.
For more info:

Macular disease management simplified

June 28, 2015

The ZEISS Retina Workplace helps eye care professionals get automated access to relevant clinical information at the point of decision. While redefining workflow efficiency in retina practices, the new ZEISS ophthalmology software makes it easier to manage macular diseases such as monitoring patients undergoing anti-VEGF therapy.

Many physicians perform more than 1,000 injections annually, and treating up to 30 patients per day with anti-VEGF injections is not uncommon in many practices. Inefficiencies in this process easily can add up to several hours of extra work per week, This software helps ease record keeping and reimbursements.

for more info:

New AMD treatments in sight

June 28, 2015

Macular degeneration involves deterioration or damage to the macula, a small spot near the center of the retina that is responsible for providing sharp central vision. Without a healthy macula, it becomes increasingly difficult to read, sew, drive or handle most routine daily activities.

Even as the condition worsens, the patient may notice few symptoms until a crisis point occurs. As an effect of AMD, it’s possible for an eye with 20/20 vision to become legally blind within six months.

everal new treatments are in late-stage clinical trials, and a device to allow early detection has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The AdaptDX Dark Adaptometer is based on the observation that night vision problems are among the first to be noticed by AMD patients. One reason is that drusen (tiny yellow deposits in your eyes) can block the passage of vitamin A from blood vessels to the retina. Vitamin A is crucial for both night vision and adaptation from light to dark.

The Adaptometer is a large box with a darkened tunnel through which the patient looks. Tests with this box can identify the presence and seriousness of drusen and other retinal changes.

When drusen are detected at an early stage, lifestyle changes may be all that’s needed — weight loss, smoking cessation and antioxidant vitamins such as Occuvite. When the need for more aggressive treatment arrives, timely action is possible with the help of the Dark Adaptometer.

Animal studies are indicating that it may soon be possible to deliver significant concentrations of anti-VEGF drugs to the retina through eye drops. Other animal studies have focused on MDM2 inhibitors that target the leaking blood vessels themselves rather than the growth factor. The result is a more direct and lasting effect.

Even more promising final stage research is focusing on low-dose radiation as a means of controlling the fast-growing blood vessels.

for more info:

Foods to help fight vision loss

June 28, 2015

Jennifer Thompson and Dr. Johanna Seddon, a leading eye doctor and researcher, teamed up to write the cookbook “Eat Right for Your Sight,” a guide to help you protect your sight beginning in your kitchen.

“If you take away one thing from this cookbook, it’s the new holy trinity of food: three different colors a day,” said Thompson.

Think of the red in peppers and pomegranates; the purple in beets; the green in leafy green veggies; and the yellow in butternut squash. That’s where the nutrients are found for eye health. Vitamins A and E, as well as Omega-3 fatty acids, found in cold water fish, make a direct impact on your sight.

for more info:

Positive Results for Macular Degeneration Stem Cell Research

June 28, 2015

Ocata Therapeutics, Inc. (“Ocata” or “the Company”; NASDAQ: OCAT), a leader in the field of Regenerative Ophthalmology™, announced positive results.

The results of these trials in 31 patients with dry Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy (SMD) provide additional evidence supporting the safety and tolerability of hESC-derived retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Some patients were followed for up to 4 years and none of the patients showed evidence of hyperproliferation, rejection or serious adverse ocular or systemic safety issues related to the transplanted tissue.

The abstract reported that all of the patients, 26 from the US studies and 5 from the South Korean study, experienced improved or stable, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA). These studies suggest that hESC-derived cells could provide a potentially safe new source of cells for regenerative medicine.

for more info:

The Uncertainty of Stem Cell Treatments

June 5, 2015

For almost a decade, stem cell treatment has held out hope as a treatment for macular degeneration. Hope, but not FDA approved certainty.

Popular Science magazine has just written an article titled ARE NEW STEM CELL THERAPIES MIRACLES IN A BOTTLE–OR JUST A DANGEROUS FORM OF SNAKE OIL?

Their review is mixed and full of unknowns. Some wonderful successes and some failures. Leigh Turner, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Bioethics, finds the various SVF therapies dubious. “No one has proved they’re safe or effective,” he says. “People are paying a lot of money for these treatments without any assurances.”

After 7 years of chronic back pain, the author was”cured” after a single treatment. But he still worries about recurrence. When you sign up to be a guinea pig, nothing is certain, and only time will tell.

For more info: