by Dr. Gearóid Tuohy
Dear EURETINA Members,
A very warm welcome to the October 2nd, 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 the left hand panel.
The current issue highlights a number of research activities, clinical milestones and business developments in our field, including research from Harvard Medical School, showing a mechanistic link between fragments of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines from RPE cells; a clinical review of almost 20 clinical trials, either completed or on-going, in the field of retinal degenerative stem cell treatment, and finally; an announcement form RetroSense Therapeutics LLC, on receipt of clearance from the FDA to initiate a first-in-human study of an optogenetic strategy for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The company aims to deliver a “channelrhodopsin 2” gene, originally isolated from a green alga and transfect the gene into cells of the inner retina of RP patients.
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