Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UBC-U of S research offers hope for treatment of age-related blindness

27.04.2005


Rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with anti-inflammatory drugs are 10 times less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common form of blindness in people over 55, researchers at the University of British Columbia and University of Saskatchewan have found.

The study, recently published in the Neurobiology of Aging, is a joint effort of neurologist Dr. Patrick McGeer of UBC and rheumatologist Dr. John Sibley of the U of S.

The scientists found that that rheumatoid arthritis patients being treated with anti-inflammatory drugs were 10 times less likely to develop (AMD) than unaffected individuals in the United States, Australia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. "Age-related macular degeneration is like Alzheimer’s disease of the eye, with retinal deposits called drusen acting like amyloid deposits in the brain found in Alzheimer’s," says McGeer, a UBC professor emeritus in the Kinsmen Laboratory of Neurological Research and expert in the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).



The scientists reviewed 993 rheumatoid arthritis patients in Saskatchewan aged 65 years or older who, on average, had been living with the condition since age 51. Only three had developed AMD, where about 30 cases could be expected in a similarly-aged group from the general populace. "It was natural for us to look at the rheumatoid arthritis population," says Sibley, a U of S professor of medicine and head of the division of rheumatology. "They have been followed closely for more than 40 years with particular attention paid to retinal changes because medication widely used for rheumatoid arthritis can create visual problems."

It is already accepted that NSAIDS reduce the incidence of bowel cancer. Fifteen years ago, McGeer and Sibley found the first of a growing body of evidence that NSAIDS may also help reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s. However, Sibley says this is the first time a link has been identified between anti-inflammatories and macular degeneration.

The researchers emphasize that further study is required to confirm their findings, but if they are corroborated, anti-inflammatories would be the first approach for this intractable disease. Related questions such as optimum dosage and when to begin treatment need to be answered. Also, since NSAIDS can have side effects such as stomach upset, ulcers and stress on kidneys, they are not appropriate for everyone and criteria for high-risk patients that would benefit from their use will need to be defined.

Macular degeneration is the most common cause of severe vision loss in Canada, especially among the elderly, according to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. It causes one in three cases of reported vision loss. The condition causes light-sensitive cells in the macula, or central portion of the retina, to degenerate. The macula is responsible for perceiving fine visual detail. Early signs of macular degeneration include blurring of vision when performing detailed tasks like reading or sewing.

AMD is the most common form of the disease and causes permanent loss of central vision. There are two forms of AMD – wet and dry – with more than 85 per cent of cases being the dry form, for which there is no effective treatment.

McGeer and Sibley’s work was supported through the Arthritis, Rheumatism, and Aging Medical Information System (ARAMIS) consortium through grants from the United States National Institutes of Health. Additional funding was provided through the Jack Brown and Family Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation and the estate of George Hodgson.

Hilary Thomson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ubc.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

nachricht NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

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...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

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...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

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,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>