The Retina – A Window to Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted on Jul 20, 2018 by

In a novel study from Queen’s University Belfast, researchers demonstrate that the eye could be a window to the brain. The results of the study, recently published in the Journal of Ophthalmic Research, show how degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) can be monitored via ultra-widefield (UWF) retinal imaging.  The retina is a part of the central nervous system and shares structural and functional features with the brain. Altogether 59 AD patients and 48 controls were entered into the study.  They were imaged utilizing ultra-widefield imaging from Optos.  This advanced technology, using red and green lasers, captures a 200 degree, high-resolution digital image of the retina in less than ½  second, reaching regions of the retina that have been previously inaccessible with other methods of imaging.

Measuring biomarkers, such as drusen and vasculature width gradients in delineated quadrants of the retina, the researchers found that these changes, particularly in the peripheral retina, could be associated with degenerative brain conditions such as AD. Specifically, the markers that were chiefly considered were drusen and vasculature changes. Drusen are deposits of fats, minerals, and proteins and are normal symptoms of aging that appear as yellowish spots in the layer beneath the …
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July is Fireworks Safety Month – Leave the Shows to the Pros!

Posted on Jul 12, 2018 by

Although July 4th, or Independence Day, has come and gone, there is a good possibility that some of us have a few extra sparklers, or an “All the fireworks are gone, kids – time for bed!” stash of leftovers hidden behind the stale pretzels in the top cupboard.  July is Fireworks Eye Safety Month, and because fireworks sometimes become a part of many year-round celebrations, it is an excellent opportunity to clarify our understanding of the do’s and don’ts of pyrotechnic use.

While the thrill many of us derive from the thunderous booms and brilliant blooms of fireworks is undeniable, so are the sobering statistics that accompany these displays.

In recent years, in June and July alone, over 6000 fireworks related injuries occur and over 20% of those are eye injuries.  These injuries can range from temporary or more superficial issues to severe, life altering injuries including burns and bleeding in the eye, retinal detachments, and even a ruptured globe or blindness.  Many of these injuries occur to those who are not even handling the fireworks and, even more distressing is that frequently these injuries afflict children.Prevent Blindness America and the American Academy of Blindness sponsor July as Fireworks Eye …
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