Dear EURETINA Members,
A very warm welcome to the May 16th, 2013 edition of EURETINA's web-based digital magazine, "EURETINA Brief".
EURETINA are delighted to continue our delivery of up to date summary briefs on a range of topics of interest to retinal specialists and researchers across Europe. This resource is designed to accommodate the very busy schedules of all our members by providing them with a short overview of some new developments and announcements in our field over recent weeks.
As in previous issues we have incorporated a feedback section where you can comment on any of the news items or articles under discussion and we very much welcome all contributions. Previous articles and issues can be found in the archive section on the left hand panel.
The current issue highlights a number of recent developments and research activities in our field, including publication of a comprehensive study showing an increased prevalence of depression among subjects with self-reported vision loss, compared to the general population without vision loss; new research by the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) group suggesting that lutein and zeaxanthin may be more effective that the original AREDS dietary formula, and; an announcement by Allergan Inc. (NYSE:AGN) causing a 13% drop in their share value due to a 1-2 year delay on the projected development of a pipeline product to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Finally, our feature bio-ophthalmology article reports on research published in the journal Human Gene Therapy demonstrating the rescue of a rare retinal degeneration in a recessive model of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The study, conducted by Dr. Astra Dinculescu and colleagues at the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Florida, used a viral vector to deliver a functioning copy of the MFRP (membrane-type frizzled-related protein) gene into a murine model of MFRP-related RP. MFRP mutations are a recent addition to a list of genetic lesions affecting the RPE leading to retinal degeneration and include the genes RPE-65, LRAT, MERTK, BEST1, TIMP3 and others. Results indicated the rescue of rod and cone photoreceptors and showed successful expression of the delivered MFRP gene in the RPE (retinal pigment epithelium). Further efficacy, safety and dose response analysis, in addition to developing a potential intravitreal route of delivery, are proposed prior to any assessment of suitability for human clinical studies.
As always, increased interaction by you with the EURETINA web community serves to expand your professional network and keep you up to date with the latest initiatives, activities and research in your field. Our hope is that such cross-fertilisation in an active web-based platform will lead to increased collaborative opportunities and ultimately to improved patient care. All readers are invited to submit comments or responses to any of the stories featured and we look forward to hearing from you over the coming month.
Dr. Gearóid Tuohy, EURETINA