Children who are born before their eyes have finished growing risk developing an eye disease called retinopathy. This disorder involves the loss of blood vessels in the eye, which means that the retina does not get enough oxygen.
“The lack of oxygen sets off alarm signals that spur new vessel growth, but these new vessels become deformed. Toward the end of the disease the retina can come loose, and when that happens, there’s very little you can do,” says Ann Hellström, eye professor at Sahgrenska Academy.
Each year in Sweden roughly 1,000 premature infants risk developing retinopathy that can lead to severely impaired vision and even blindness.
In the study, mice with retinopathy were fed food enriched with either omega-3 or omega-6.
Mice that ate omega-3 initially lost fewer blood vessels in their retinas than mice that ate omega-6, and they evinced only half as much abnormal vessel growth. Their retinas also showed lower inflammatory activity.
“After the initial loss of vessels, our studies indicate that the vessels grew back both more rapidly and more effectively in mice that were fed omega-3. This is due to an enhanced oxygen supply and a dampening of the inflammation alarm that otherwise can lead to the formation of abnormal vessels,” says research Chatarina Löfqvist.
Children who are born very prematurely or extremely prematurely have difficulty getting omega-3 from their mothers.
“We are now going to give omega-3 to premature newborns at Östra Hospital and to nursing mothers. We hope to be able to simulate what the infant should have received in the womb, so that the children’s retinas will then develop more normally,” says Professor Ann Hellström.
The same research team recently published another study showing that another substance can also protect against eye damage in premature babies. This substance is a protein called IGFBP-3, which is necessary for the development of vessels, nerves, the eye, the brain, muscles, bones, the liver, kidneys, lungs, and other organs. In that study children with retinopathy had lower levels of the protein compared with healthy children, which indicates that the protein prevents vessel loss and promotes normal vessel regeneration.
“Our study indicates that this protein and the growth factor that the protein regulates act independently to prevent retinopathy. We are now carrying out a Phase I study to see if preparations with these substances can protect against the development of retinopathy in prematurely born children,” says Chatarina Löfqvist.
Both studies are being carried out in collaboration with researchers at Harvard Medical School in the U.S.
Elin Lindström Claessen | alfa
New antibody analysis accelerates rational vaccine design
09.08.2018 | Scripps Research Institute
Distrust of power influences choice of medical procedures
01.08.2018 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.
Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
14.08.2018 | Information Technology
14.08.2018 | Life Sciences
14.08.2018 | Life Sciences