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April 2008 Briefing - Ophthalmology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Ophthalmology for April 2008. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Physicians Lack Feedback on Accuracy of Diagnoses

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical diagnosis is a largely open-loop system in which there is no systematic way for clinicians to obtain feedback on the outcome of their diagnoses, according to an article published in a supplement to the May issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

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Palliative Care Can Improve Patient Care Most, Poll Finds

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- In an international poll conducted by BMJ to determine which area of health care would enable doctors to make the greatest difference to patients, palliative care for non-malignant disease received the most votes, the BMJ Group announced at the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health Care in Paris this week.

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Studies Support Gene Therapy for Retinal Conditions

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- A pair of studies published online April 27 in the New England Journal of Medicine offer support for research into gene therapy to treat Leber's congenital amaurosis, a group of inherited disorders marked by retinal degeneration and severe vision loss.

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Abstract -- Bainbridge
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Fluoxetine Linked to Plasticity in Adult Rats' Vision

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic fluoxetine use restores ocular dominance plasticity in adult rats and also promotes the restoration of visual function in adult rats with amblyopia, according to research published in the April 18 Science.

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Diabetic Retinopathy a Risk Factor for Heart Failure

THURSDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetic retinopathy is an independent risk factor for heart failure in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a report published in the April 22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Complex Relationship Between Estrogen, Eye Disease Risk

TUESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal hormone use is associated with an increased risk of early signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) but a reduced risk of neovascular AMD, the late stage of the disease, according to an article published in the Archives of Ophthalmology in April.

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Photoscreening for Amblyopia Should Be Done Early

MONDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Photoscreening infants and toddlers for amblyopia results in better visual outcomes after treatment compared with later screening of preschoolers, reports an article published in the Archives of Ophthalmology in April.

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Individualized Health Care Budgets Improve Care

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- The U.K.'s National Health Service should allow patients individual control of their health care budgets, an approach that has been shown in pilot studies to improve outcomes and patient satisfaction in a cost-effective manner, according to an analysis published April 12 in BMJ.

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Consider Health Literacy Level When Writing for Patients

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Giving patients clearly written educational materials that convey key messages without resorting to jargon is an important part of engaging patient compliance with treatment and can contribute to health literacy, according to an article published in the April issue of Chest.

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Doctors Vote on the Ways to Make Biggest Difference

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- The BMJ has begun accepting votes on which areas of health care allow doctors to make the biggest difference to patient care, with a shortlist of six areas each being championed by eminent doctors and researchers. The winning topic will gain special coverage in the BMJ and the BMJ Group's 24 other specialist journals and online education products.

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Corneas from Older Donors Fine for Transplant

THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- A new landmark study reports that corneas from older donors can be used as successfully as those from younger donors for corneal transplants, findings that may allow expansion of the donor pool, according to an article published in Ophthalmology in April.

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Physician's Briefing