by Dr. Gearóid Tuohy
Dear EURETINA Members,
A very warm and festive welcome to the December 17th, 2015 edition of EURETINA’s web-based digital magazine, “EURETINA Brief”. EURETINA are delighted to continue our delivery of up to date summary briefs on a range of topics of interest to retinal specialists and researchers across Europe. This resource is designed to accommodate the very busy schedules of all our members by providing them with a short overview of some new developments and announcements in our field over recent weeks.
As in previous issues we have incorporated a feedback section where you can comment on any of the news items or articles under discussion and we very much welcome all contributions. Previous articles and issues can be found in the archive section on this website.
The current issue highlights a number of research activities, clinical milestones and business developments in our field, including early stage research, conducted at Pennsylvania State University demonstrating the potential for hydrogel insulin-loaded discs in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy; research into clinical trial studies for AMD indicating that as little as 14.1% of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) use patient reported outcomes as part of their clinical trial endpoints, and; exciting developments for patients with Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) following GenSight Biologics’ decision to progress with Phase III gene therapy trials following clearance from the U.S. FDA for a new experimental treatment to deliver a functional copy of the mitochondrial ND4 gene via a single intravitreal injection. Delivery of the gene permits expression of the ND4 protein within the mitochondrial membrane aimed at bringing about rescue of the primary defect in LHON.
Finally, our feature bio-ophthalmology article reports on a US-based systematic review from Tufts University, Boston, indicating that evidence remains inconclusive in regards to whether or not zinc intake from foods and supplements is beneficial in the primary prevention and treatment of AMD. Analysis of several independent studies show that while the results on zinc intake for the prevention of AMD appear inconclusive, comprehensive data from AREDS (a large scale US-based multi-centre clinical Age-related Eye Disease Study, sponsored by the National Eye Institute) suggest that zinc treatment may be effective in preventing the progression of the disease to advanced AMD. The authors conclude in their publication that, “zinc supplementation alone may not be sufficient to produce clinically meaningful changes in visual acuity.”
As always, increased interaction by you with the EURETINA web community serves to expand your professional network and keep you up to date with the latest initiatives, activities and research in your field. Our hope is that such cross-fertilisation in an active web-based platform will lead to increased collaborative opportunities and ultimately to improved patient care. All readers are invited to submit comments or responses to any of the stories featured and we look forward to hearing from you over the coming month.
Dr. Gearóid Tuohy, EURETINA