Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Young scientist helps identify cause of widespread eye disease

21.12.2012
Branch retinal vein occlusion – blockage of the blood vessels that channel blood from the retina – is a common eye disease.
A type of blood clot in the eye, the disease causes reduced vision, and people with the disease also typically have an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes and other serious conditions. A young scientist from the University of Copenhagen has made a significant contribution to finding the cause of the disease.

A team of researchers at the University of Copenhagen, Glostrup Hospital and several other ophthalmology departments at Danish hospitals have now shown that it is highly probable that thickening of the arterial walls is behind the common eye disease known as branch retinal vein occlusion – a type of blood clot in the eye that blocks the vessels that transport blood from the retina. The disease leads to reduced vision and affects more than 14 million people worldwide.

”Our new results indicate that branch retinal vein occlusion is caused by thickening of the arterial wall. This makes it crucial for doctors to treat patients diagnosed with the disease with medicine to lower blood pressure in order to prevent blood clots from forming in the heart and brain. Branch retinal vein occlusion is often a sign of increased risk of blood clots in other parts of the body,” explains Mette Bertelsen, PhD student at the University of Copenhagen.

Targeted treatment

Mette Bertelsen, head of the research project, and her colleagues photographically verified the diagnosis of branch retinal vein occlusion in 1168 people. They identified the patients’ other diseases with the help of Danish national registries and compared the data to that of 116.800 healthy people.

By looking at the illness and mortality statistics of Danes diagnosed with a blood clot in the retina’s main blood vessels, both before and after the occurrence of the retinal blood clot, Mette Bertelsen and her colleges has now shown that while these patients show a higher frequency of arterial disease in the heart and brain, they do not display a higher frequency of venous disease. This new knowledge, which has been published in the British Medical Journal, means that disease prevention and treatment of these patients should be targeted at hypertension, diabetes and atherosclerosis, while doctors can save patients from unnecessary treatment with anticoagulants.

Thickened arteries the villains

Doctors have long debated the three most likely theories about what causes branch retinal vein occlusion. Discussion centres on whether the disease is due to a) conditions in the veins that cause blood clots, b) a change in the composition of the blood, or c) blockage of the vein due to compression from an adjacent artery that has thickened and thus compresses the vein and hinders blood flow.

”To understand what is actually happening, it can be helpful to picture a garden hose that has been squeezed by a larger hose, cutting off the water supply. That is essentially what happens when a vein is compressed by a thickened artery. Clearly, the consequences can be serious,” explains Mette Bertelsen. She adds that no one knows exactly how many Danes suffer from branch retinal vein occlusion, but that more than 14 million people have the disease worldwide.

See scientific article Comorbidity in patients with branch retinal vein occlusion: case-control study in British Medical Journal.

Contact

Mette Bertelsen, PhD student
Glostrup Hospital, Department of Ophthalmology and the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

Telephone: +45 29909916

Mette Berthelsen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ku.dk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>