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Current Blindness News and Events, Blindness News Articles.
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Approximately one-third of people older than 40 have vision disturbances
Refractive errors (inability of the eye to focus properly) affect about one-third of people 40 years and older in the United States and Western Europe, and one-fifth of Australians 40 or older, according to an article in the April issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology, a theme issue on blindness, and one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (2004-04-12)

Leading causes of blindness for blacks and whites different
The leading cause of blindness for white persons is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), while the leading causes of blindness for blacks are cataracts and glaucoma, according to an article in the April issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology, a theme issue on blindness, and one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (2004-04-12)

Vision loss from eye diseases will increase as Americans age
With the aging of the population, the number of Americans with major eye diseases is increasing, and vision loss is becoming a major public health problem. By the year 2020, the number of people who are blind or have low vision is projected to increase substantially. (2004-04-12)

Eye disorder that can cause blindness is high among people with type 1 diabetes mellitus
The prevalence of diabetic retinopathy, a disorder of the retina that can cause blindness, associated with type 1 diabetes mellitus is estimated to affect one per 300 adults over the age of 18 years in the United States, according to an article in the April issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology, a theme issue on blindness, and one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (2004-04-12)

Prevalence of age-related macular degeneration projected to increase substantially by 2020
Due to the rapidly aging population, the number of people in the United States with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in people older than 65 years, will increase from 1.75 million people to almost 3 million people by the year 2020, according to an article in the April issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology, a theme issue on blindness, and one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (2004-04-12)

Statins and aspirin may protect against severe vision loss in elderly
Cholesterol-busting statins, the largest-selling prescription drugs in the U.S., may protect older people from blindness, a new study shows. Aspirin also appears to provide significant protection, according to the research. (2004-04-12)

Prevalence of cataracts expected to increase substantially in coming decades
The number of persons in the United States affected by cataracts is estimated to rise to 30.1 million people in the next 20 years, an increase of 50 percent, according to an article in the April issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology, a theme issue on blindness, and one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (2004-04-12)

One in 12 diabetics over age 40 has vision-threatening eye disease
Pooled data from previous studies suggests that approximately 4.1 million U.S. adults 40 years or older have diabetic retinopathy (DR), a disorder of the retina that occurs as a complication of diabetes mellitus (DM), affecting one twelfth of diabetics in this age group, according to an article in the April issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology, a theme issue on blindness, and one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (2004-04-12)

Research on inherited eye disorders uncovers new information about blood-vessel formation
HHMI researchers have discovered that genetic mutations underlying two inherited eye disorders arise in different components of a single intracellular signaling pathway that is responsible for development of blood vessels in the eye. Understanding more about how this pathway functions could provide useful information for the development of drugs to treat the two diseases. That information might also aid in understanding retinal blood vessel disorders associated with diabetes, macular degeneration, and premature infants. (2004-03-18)

Smoking linked to blindness
Smokers are up to four times as likely to become blind in later life from age related macular degeneration (AMD) than non-smokers, but many remain largely unaware of this risk, warn researchers in this week's BMJ. (2004-03-04)

Potentially blinding eye disease more prevalent than previously thought
The incidence and prevalence of uveitis, a potentially blinding eye disease, was found to be much greater than previous estimates. (2004-03-01)

NIH researchers test promising new therapy for blinding eye disease
A clinical trial found that once monthly intravenous infusions with an immune therapy drug called daclizumab controlled uveitis and was well tolerated in seven of 10 patients over a four-year period. The study authors also found initial evidence that a furmulation of daclizumab that can be injected under the skin conferred similar results. This might allow patients to administer th drug to themselves at hom, making the treatment even more convenient. (2004-03-01)

Blacks at greater risk for developing cataracts
For the first time, a nine-year population study has demonstrated that persons of African descent have nearly twice the incidence of cataracts than Caucasians. (2004-03-01)

Imaging technique reveals new structure in retinal cells
A new imaging technique has revealed a previously unknown cellular structure in the retinas of mice. The structure is the site for an important part of the retinoid cycle, a chemical process critical to vision. Since many types of congenital blindness are caused by defects in the retinoid cycle, the researchers hope their findings could one day help in clinical applications. (2004-02-17)

Eye disease may cause sleep disorders
A study appearing in the February issue of Ophthalmology--the clinical journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Eye M.D. Association, shows that inner retinal and optic nerve disease may be a significant risk factor for sleep disorders. (2004-02-01)

Optic nerve disease may cause sleep disorders
Young people with eye diseases that damage the inner part of the retina and optic nerve are significantly more likely to have sleep disorders than those with other types of eye disease or those with normal vision. (2004-02-01)

Researchers identify key risk factor for cataracts
Ophthalmology researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a key risk factor for the development of cataracts. For the first time, they have demonstrated an association between loss of gel in the eye's vitreous body -- the gel that lies between the back of the lens and the retina -- and the formation of nuclear cataracts, the most common type of age-related cataracts. (2004-01-07)

New device to help premature babies
Australian scientists have invented a simple device that is ready to help thousands of premature babies in third-world countries who suffer from respiratory difficulties - problems that can cause brain damage and blindness. (2003-12-22)

Gene differences may alter susceptibility to multiple sclerosis
A tiny difference in a gene may signal that a person is twice as susceptible to multiple sclerosis (MS) as normal. It could also foretell of a more rapidly progressing form of the disease, according to new research. The study focused on a gene known as CD24, which directs the making of a protein found on immune cells and that plays an important role in immune responses. (2003-12-15)

Dietary fats may increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration
High intake of dietary fats may increase the risk of progression of age-related macular degeneration, according to an article in the December issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (2003-12-08)

Early treatment can prevent severe vision loss in premature infants
A new study by specialists at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and 25 other institutions nationwide for the first time gives eye doctors a precise way to identify premature babies at the highest risk of abnormal blood vessel growth in the retina and subsequent blindness. The computerized risk assessment tool they used should lead to treatment of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) at its earliest stages, stopping or limiting both loss of vision and structural damage to the eye. (2003-12-08)

Daily vitamins could prevent vision loss among thousands
If every American at risk for advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) took daily supplements of antioxidant vitamins and zinc, more than 300,000 people could avoid AMD-associated vision loss over the next five years, according to results of a new government study led in part by researchers at Johns Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Institute. (2003-11-10)

First international conference on women and blindness
A call for public health action, increased funding for research, and creative educational programs in both the developing and developed worlds may be an outcome of the first international conference on women and blindness. Vision experts from around the country and the world will gather to explore why women are nearly twice as likely to lose their vision as men and how to stem the tide of blinding diseases in women. (2003-11-04)

UK childhood blindness more common than previously thought
Increased ethnic diversity and greater survival of low-birthweight babies is contributing to a higher proportion of children becoming visually impaired or blind, according to authors of a UK study in this week's issue of The Lancet. The study also highlights how childhood visual impairment is associated with lower socio-economic status. (2003-10-23)

The genetics of blindness
Treatment for the most common inherited cause of blindness, retinitis pigmentosa, is one step closer, according to investigators at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). They are the first to link two new gene mutations in two French-Canadian families to loss of vision in humans. Their findings are published in this month's issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology. (2003-10-08)

Research offers insight on treatment for hereditary eye disease
Findings of a Dartmouth Medical School study may provide a step for treating as well as understanding an incurable debilitating eye disease that can eventually lead to blindness. (2003-09-30)

UCSD study on newly sighted blind people provides clues to development of visual system
A new study completed at the University of California, San Diego describes the effects of long-term blindness on the human visual system. (2003-08-24)

Gene mutation found for eye disease that mimics macular degeneration
A gene mutation discovered in a family whose members have an eye disease that looks like age-related macular degeneration, but is inherited by an exceptionally high number of relatives, may help researchers learn more about the molecular basis of AMD. (2003-08-04)

OXiGENE announces launch of ophthalmic clinical trial at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
For the first time, clinicians will study a tumor-starving compound in patients with a retinal degenerative disease that is the cause of severe vision loss in between 2 million and 3 million Americans. Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine will evaluate OXiGENE, Inc.'s Combretastatin A4 Prodrug in patients with wet-age-related macular degeneration. Wet AMD occurs when ocular blood vessels leak blood and fluid into the retina, triggering sudden and severe vision loss. (2003-07-02)

Protecting vessel loss in the eyes of premature infants
As premature infants often have under-developed lungs, oxygen is administered following birth. An unfortunate side effect is the suppression of essential growth factors that promote the development of retinal blood vessels, resulting in blindness. In the July 1 issue of the JCI, a study by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital, Boston, demonstrates that specific activation of the receptor VEGFR-1 by the growth factor PlGF-1 protects against oxygen-induced vessel loss. (2003-07-01)

Injection prevents blinding blood vessel growth in mice
Researchers at Johns Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Institute and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals have identified an experimental medicine that stops the blinding blood vessel growth associated with diabetic eye diseases and possibly macular degeneration in laboratory mice. (2003-06-17)

Hebrew University researcher studies 'reorganization' of brain in blind people
Studies indicate that congenitally blind (blind from birth) people have superior verbal memory abilities than the sighted. Why and what is the significance of this? (2003-06-17)

Researchers making cell phones user-friendly for people with disabilities
Individuals with disabilities are missing out on wireless communication opportunities because of usability problems. Virginia Tech researchers in industrial and systems engineering are working to improve the cell phone interface for users with disabilities. (2003-05-07)

Diabetes complications blur the vision of many latinos
As type 2 diabetes hits growing numbers of the nation's burgeoning Latino population, diabetic retinopathy is stealing the precious eyesight of almost one in 10 adult Latinos. (2003-05-06)

Older latinos grappling with high rates of vision loss
Visual impairment afflicts older Latinos more than those from other ethnic or racial groups, according to the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study, the largest comprehensive study ever undertaken to identify eye problems in the Latino population. (2003-05-05)

Early diagnosis of Usher syndrome type 1 made possible by new findings
Deafness in both ears and progressive loss of vision due to retinitis pigmentosa are the indicators of Usher syndrome. There are three clinical subtypes of Usher syndrome, Usher type 1, being the most severe. This syndrome involves deafness at birth, progressive blindness and balance problems. In 1861, clinical features of Usher syndrome in Jewish individuals were described. Now, 140 years later, there is an opportunity to offer help to those individuals who inherit this syndrome. (2003-05-02)

Study sheds light on Chlamydial pathogens
Surprisingly subtle differences in gene content appear to account for the stunningly large number of diseases caused by the Chlamydiae family of bacteria in a wide range of animal hosts that the pathogens infect, according to a new study. The analysis is based on a close comparison of four complete chlamydial genomes, including the sequences of species that cause pneumonia, infectious blindness, and chronic genital infections in humans. (2003-04-21)

By 2020, 76 million worldwide could go blind without prevention
Researchers for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that over 52 million people worldwide can avoid going blind if current and new resources are successfully implemented. Without extra intervention, the global number of blind individuals would increase from 44 million in 2000 to 76 million in 2020. (2003-03-28)

OXiGENE awarded US patent for vascular targeting technology
OXiGENE, Inc., a Massachusetts biopharmaceutical company, has been granted a U.S. patent covering methods of targeting and destroying abnormal blood vessels that proliferate in diseases such as cancer and macular degeneration. OXiGENE develops anti-tumor compounds called (2003-03-26)

OHSU researchers identify ocular side effects of commonly prescribed drugs
Oregon Health & Science University researchers have discovered a previously unreported side effect for a commonly prescribed osteoporosis and cancer medication. If gone untreated, the ocular side effect could cause serious vision problems. (2003-03-20)

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