The sight-threatening form of diabetic retinopathy, termed proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), is the most common cause of legal blindness in working-aged adults in the United States, accounting for 10% of new onset blindness overall. Diabetes is also the leading cause of kidney disease, called end-stage renal disease (ESRD), in the U.S. and the Western world.
Led by Kang Zhang M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Division of Ophthalmic Genetics at the Moran Eye Center and Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Utah, the study will be published online on May 5, 2008 in the journal Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Zhang explains the significance of the discovery: “We know that the development of PDR and ESRD in diabetic patients can be inherited. Although genetic factors are known to be important in the susceptibility (or resistance) to these complications, until now the genes involved have been mostly unknown.”
How did the researchers discover that this gene is involved in PDR and ESRD" In this study the researchers compared 1,618 people with PDR and ESDR, and 954 diabetes patients without any eye or kidney disease in three separate populations. Their studies demonstrate that if a person has a copy of mutant EPO gene, they have an increased risk of developing PDR and ESRD during their lifetime.
Dr. Zhang explains the current use and cost of EPO for disease prevention and how this discovery may affect its use: “EPO is used extensively to help in the production of red blood cells when treating patients with anemia resulting from renal failure or chemotherapy. In the United States, erythropoietin represents one of the largest single drug expenses for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, approximately $1 billion a year. Patients with anemia due to chronic renal disease (many of whom have diabetes) who receive frequent dosing of EPO to maintain higher hemoglobin levels have a higher rate of cardiovascular complications than patients who maintain a lower hemoglobin level. A similar effect of EPO on accelerating the decline of kidney function had been suggested by earlier studies. Our study suggests that caution may be warranted when maintaining higher hemoglobin concentration using exogenous EPO treatment in diabetic patients, as it might accelerate progression to PDR and ESRD.”
"Though there is no proven pharmacologic treatment for diabetic vascular eye diseases, inhibiting the growth of unwanted blood vessel growth using antibodies directed against vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF therapy) has been advocated,” said Dr. Dean Li, who is a co-author from the Program in Human Molecular Biology and Genetics, also at University of Utah, “This genetic study suggests that future therapeutic strategies need to consider blunting the effects of erythropoietin in addition or as an alternative to an anti-VEGF strategy"
Steve Brown | EurekAlert!
Bacteria as pacemaker for the intestine
22.11.2017 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Researchers identify how bacterium survives in oxygen-poor environments
22.11.2017 | Columbia University
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
22.11.2017 | Business and Finance
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy