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August 2007 Briefing - Ophthalmology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Ophthalmology for August 2007. 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.

Researchers Characterize Persistent Placoid Maculopathy

MONDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Persistent placoid maculopathy -- a previously unreported clinical entity -- is similar to macular serpiginous choroiditis, but has a distinct clinical course, according to a new study published in the August issue of Ophthalmology.

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Refractive Laser Surgery Seems OK Even on Thin Corneas

MONDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Although most surgeons regard a central corneal thickness of at least 500 microns as the cutoff for safe refractive surgery, LASIK and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) appear to be safe procedures in myopic patients with thinner corneas, researchers report in the August issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

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Optic Nerve Edema Rare in Patients with Dialysis Shunts

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Despite isolated reports of optic nerve edema in hemodialysis patients with peripheral arteriovenous shunts, this complication appears to be rare, and routine surveillance of asymptomatic patients is probably not warranted, researchers report in the August issue of Ophthalmology.

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Poor Self-Reported Vision Tied to Depression in Glaucoma

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Patients recently diagnosed with glaucoma are more likely to be depressed if they have worse self-reported visual function, but measures of visual field and visual acuity are not associated with depression, researchers report in the August issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

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Cardiac Valve Surgery Can Result in Saccadic Palsy

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who develop saccadic palsy after cardiac surgery, the selective loss of all types of saccades but not other eye movements suggests that the brainstem circuit that generates saccades may be malfunctioning, according to study findings published online Aug. 14 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Hygiene May Play Role in Acanthamoeba Keratitis

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- While a particular contact lens solution was associated with recent Acanthamoeba keratitis infections in contact lens users, environmental and hygiene issues may also be partly responsible for an increase in cases, according to a case-control study in the August issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

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Editorial

One in Four Children with Amblyopia Have Recurrence

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Children with amblyopia have a high risk of recurrence in the year after treatment ends, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of Ophthalmology. Factors associated with a higher risk of recurrence included better visual acuity at the time treatment ends, better overall visual improvement during treatment, and a prior history of recurrence.

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Resident Duty-Hour Cuts Curb Surgeon Job Satisfaction

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Reforms limiting resident duty hours are increasing surgeons' workloads and may be negatively affecting patient care, researchers report in the August issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Corneal Scan Can Detect Neuropathy in Diabetics

FRIDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Corneal confocal microscopy (CCM) may offer a non-invasive way to assess small nerve fiber damage in diabetics, which may help prevent foot ulcerations and amputations, according to a report in the August issue of Diabetes.

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Older Type 1 Diabetics Fare Better Than Thought

THURSDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have lived with type 1 diabetes for 50 years or more demonstrate fewer microvascular complications than expected, according to a survey-based cross-sectional study published in the August issue of Diabetes Care.

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Eye Cancer Risk Elevated in Kidney-Transplant Patients

THURSDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Kidney-transplant patients have an increased risk of ocular squamous cell carcinoma, according to the results of a study published online Aug. 14 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Because HIV patients also have an increased risk, the finding suggests that this malignancy is an immune deficiency-associated cancer.

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Glaucoma Progression Affected by Pressure Fluctuations

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with glaucoma, long-term intraocular pressure fluctuations affect the progression of visual field deterioration, even in patients whose intraocular pressure is low (18 mm Hg or less) after undergoing surgery, according to a report published in the August issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Editorial

Smoking Raises Risk of Macular Degeneration

TUESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking is associated with increased risk of late age-related macular degeneration, according to a report published in the August issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Researchers Discover Genetic Cause of Exfoliation Glaucoma

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified mutations in a gene that appear to account for 99 percent of cases of exfoliation glaucoma, according to a report published Aug. 9 in Science. The LOXL1 gene is involved in the production of elastin polymer fibers that play a role in exfoliation syndrome, a leading cause of secondary glaucoma.

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Targeting Alzheimer's Protein May Treat Glaucoma

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Targeting the formation, deposition and aggregation of the amyloid-beta protein found in Alzheimer disease is effective in reducing the death of retinal cells in a rat model of glaucoma, according to study findings published online Aug. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Common Geriatric Conditions Linked to Disability

TUESDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In older adults, geriatric conditions that are not part of the traditional disease model of medicine are significantly associated with disability, according to the results of a study published in the Aug. 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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With Eye Protection, Psoriasis Therapy Poses Little Risk

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- There appears to be little increased risk of visual impairment or cataracts from the long-term use of psoralen plus ultraviolet A to treat psoriasis and other skin disorders in middle-aged patients who wear appropriate eye protection, according to a study in the August issue of Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Physician's Briefing