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Could vitamin A help prevent blindness?

Did you know…

Did you know that vision loss due to diabetes (diabetic retinopathy or DR) may someday be treated with nanoparticles and other topical drug delivery systems? Cutting edge laser therapy and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drug therapy are also currently helping to control diabetic retinopathy. But, as the rate of people with diabetes skyrockets, so does the need to develop new modes of prevention and treatment.

In mouse studies, a synthetic version of vitamin A—chromophore 9-cis-retinal—creates a light-sensitizing visual pigment in retinal cells, reversing diabetic vision impairment. This result challenges the assumption that DR is caused by blood vessel complications in the retina and could yield life changing treatment and outcomes for millions of people with diabetes. Read more.

Visionary Scientists

Gennadiy Moiseyev, PhD, assistant professor of research, Department of Physiology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, is focused on the mechanisms that cause visual defects in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. Current research is exploring the enzymes of the visual cycle, especially RPE65 protein, which is crucial for reverse isomerization of all-trans retinyl ester to 11-cis retinol. Mutations in the RPE 65 gene results in severe retinal degenerations and early-onset blindness. The goal of the work is to establish the physiological role of RPE65 and the mechanism of its action. Read more.

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