Ophthalmology Overview: Novel Technology for Dry Eye Disease, Causes of Macular Degeneration, and More

Highlighting the latest ophthalmology-related news reported across MJH Life Sciences™.

Highlighting the latest ophthalmology-related news reported across MJH Life Sciences.


Novel Technology May Improve Outcomes in Patients With Dry Eye Disease

Although dry eye disease (DED) is known to affect up to 50% of the US population, there are no studies that have shown a safe and effective therapeutic biologic agent for the condition. However, according to research published in The Journal of Clinical Ophthalmology, a novel technology derived from corneal epithelial stem cells may improve outcomes in patients with DED.

Reported by Ophthalmology Times®, the patient-delivered topical application of corneal epithelial stem cells located and obtained solely from the limbus, the area of the eye where the cornea and conjunctiva intersect, were administered to 34 eyes of 17 patients with advanced DED 4 times a day for 12 weeks.

Compared with baseline scores, patients with DED reported significant improvements in symptom burden and quality of life, as measured by the SPEED questionnaire and visual analog scores, respectively. No adverse events were reported, and all patients asked to resume use of the treatment at the end of the 12-week trial, but they cannot do so until FDA approval.

Study Suggests Toxic DNA Buildup May Cause Macular Degeneration

As reported by Ophthalmology Times®, toxic DNA, known as Alu cDNA, was found by researchers from the University of Virginia School of Medicine to accumulate in the eyes of patients with geographic atrophy—signaling potential therapeutic breakthroughs for the blindness-causing, untreatable form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

In this newfound discovery, buildup of Alu cDNA uncovered in the cytoplasm of cells was shown to trigger harmful inflammation via inflammasomes that then lead to the death of key retinal cells, a known marker of geographic atrophy.

By identifying how Alu triggers the immune mechanism, researchers note that their finding may lead to further research on the investigation of therapies, particularly HIV drugs called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, that could block the harmful inflammation and protect against retinal cell death in AMD.

Spotlighting Factors That Increase Risk of Complications in Cataract Surgery

Despite recent advances in cataract surgery that have led to positive safety and efficacy outcomes in most patients, an article by Ophthalmology Times® highlighted several preoperative factors known to increase the likelihood of complications:

  • Small pupil
  • Rigidity of the iris
  • Sphincter fibrosis
  • Level of zonular weakness

The author noted that these factors need to be managed effectively if the capsule is to remain intact at the completion of surgery. For such cases, a Malyugin Ring 2.0 alone or in combination with capsule retractors was recommended to help alleviate complexities.

Characteristics of the iris (eg, floppiness or stiffness of the stroma, sphincter fibrosis) were also mentioned to be vital for surgeons in deciding which instruments to use for small-pupil cataract surgery.