Led by Dr. R. Michael Stiatkowski of Dean McGee Eye Institute/University of Oklahoma Department of Ophthalmology, the researchers evaluated the effects of pirenzepine in children with myopia. Myopia—sometimes called nearsightedness—is a condition in which focus on near objects is good, but distant objects appear blurry. Caused by a problem with the length of the eyeball or the curvature of the cornea, myopia gets worse over time in many children.
In the study, children with myopia were randomly assigned to treatment with pirenzepine gel or an inactive placebo gel. After a year of treatment, the average increase in myopia was significantly less for children using pirenzepine. The new study presents the final results in 84 patients who continued treatment for a total of two years: 53 with pirenzepine and 31 with placebo.
Although myopia worsened in both groups of children, the rate of progression was slower with pirenzepine. At the end of two years, myopia increased by an average of 0.58 diopters in children using pirenzepine versus 0.99 diopters with placebo. (All children initially had "moderate" myopia, with an average refractive error of about -2.00 diopters.)
New glasses are generally prescribed when myopia worsens by at least 0.75 diopters. During the study, 37 percent of children using pirenzepine met this cut-off point compared with 68 percent of the placebo group. With glasses, all children had about 20/20 vision at both the beginning and end of the study.
Pirenzepine treatment was generally safe, although eleven percent of children stopped using it because of side effects such as eye irritation. The drug also caused mild dilation of the pupils. The amount of change in the length of the eyeball was not significantly different between groups, although more research is needed to determine whether pirenzepine affects the growth of the eyes.
Myopia is the leading cause of loss of vision worldwide, affecting at least 25 percent of U.S. adults. Effective treatments to prevent or delay progressive myopia may reduce the risk of serious complications such as detached retina and glaucoma—even for children with moderate myopia, the risk of retinal detachment is increased by up to four times.
Treatments to slow worsening myopia could also have important quality-of-life benefits. For example, while children with -1.00 diopter of myopia may need glasses only part-time, those with -2.00 diopters will probably need glasses for all activities, including school and sports.
Previous studies have suggested that a drug called atropine can delay progression of myopia. The new results show that pirenzepine—a related drug with fewer side effects—is also safe and effective for this purpose.
More research will be needed before pirenzepine can be widely recommended for children with myopia. Key questions include the long-term effects and optimal length of pirenzepine treatment. In addition, more convenient and practical methods of drug administration may help to overcome some of the disadvantages of pirenzepine gel.
Jayne Dawkins | alfa
Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University
The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy