Smartphone App to detect eye disease early

July 11, 2015

Researchers have developed an application that can detect eye diseases like diabetic macular edema.

The app, developed by a team from the Medical and Surgical Centre for Retina in Mexico, uses the camera of the phone to detect any abnormality in the thickness of the retina.

The move is aimed at general physicians who can detect the condition and refer the patient to a specialist.

“The idea is to detect and prevent diseases in general practice. We are not replacing the specialist. We want to know which patients have a disease and make an early detection,” said Dr Juan Carlos Altamirano Vallejo, medical director of the Medical and Surgical Centre for Retina.

For people with diabetes, this app will help them know whether they are suffering with macular degeneration, edema and diabetic retinopathy.

The software, developed in collaboration with biomedical engineers from the Spain-based the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) has been satisfactory and is expected to soon be marketed and incorporated the basic health system.

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FDA approves new treatment for diabetic retinopathy

April 1, 2015

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approved use for Eylea (aflibercept) injection to treat diabetic retinopathy in patients with diabetic macular edema. In February, the FDA approved Lucentis (ranibizumab injection) 0.3 mg to treat DR in patients with DME.

In 2008, 33 percent of adults with diabetes aged 40 years or older had some form of DR. In some cases of DR with diabetic macular edema (DME), abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. Severe vision loss or blindness can occur if the new blood vessels break.

Eylea is administered by a physician as an injection into the eye once a month for the first five injections and then once every two months. It is intended to be used along with appropriate interventions to control blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol.

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FDA Approves First Drug for Diabetic Eye Disease

August 13, 2012

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday gave its approval to the drug Lucentis as a treatment for diabetic macular edema (DME), making it the first medicine approved for the ailment.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DME occurs when fluid enters the macula, the central part of the eye’s retina. This causes the macula to expand, blurring vision. Because up to 26 million Americans have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, this eye condition is a major source of new-onset vision loss, the FDA said. In 2010, 3.9 million diabetic adults had trouble with their vision.

Diabetes is a major public health issue in our country, and all patients with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic macular edema. Laser surgery has been the only approved treatment until now for DME.

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Lucentis Helps Diabetics’ Vision, Study Finds

March 12, 2011

Lucentis, a drug that is used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, also helps diabetics’ vision, according to a late-stage study.

The study examines the effectiveness of Lucentis in treating diabetic macular edema (DME), the buildup of fluid and swelling in the retina. DME is a condition that can lead to blindness.

The study found that 44.8 percent of patients who were being treated with 0.3 mg of Lucentis showed dramatic improvement after 24 months – they were able to read at least 15 additional letters on an eye chart, according to Reuters.

These patients fared much better than the 39.2 percent of patients given 0.5 mg of Lucentis and the 18.1 percent of patients who received a placebo injection, according to the drug’s manufacturer Roche.

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