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JDRF funded researchers test topical drug to treat diabetic macular edema
Date:3/24/2010

>At the conclusion of this study, approximately 40% of the participants showed significant improvement in overall vision and/or the thickness of the retina. The treatment also showed biological effects in the retina indicating that the drug was able to gain access to the retinal vessels after topical application to the eye. Peter Campochiaro, M.D., professor of ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and principal investigator of the study.

In the study participants, approximately 40% showed no change, and about 20% developed worsening of the condition. The variation in response to the treatment supports the observation that drugs and therapies have less than a 100% response rate, likely due to genetic make-up or unknown factors about the disease. These results also emphasize the notion that multiple treatment options for diabetic macular edema must be explored to compliment current research in this field.

"The safety and early signals of treatment effect arising from this study may create a strong interest in the development of multiple treatment options that are affordable and can be self-administered, helping to ease the burden of healthcare delivery and compliance," said Barbara Araneo, Director of Complications Research for JDRF.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common and serious eye-related complication of diabetes. It is a progressive disease that causes retinal swelling and destroys small blood vessels in the retina, eventually leading to vision problems. In its most advanced forms, known as "diabetic macular edema" and "proliferative retinopathy," it can cause moderate to severe vision loss and blindness. Nearly all people with type 1 diabetes show some symptoms of diabetic retinopathy usually after about 20 years of living with diabetes. With improved management of blood glucose the risks of this dreaded eye disease are decreasing. Those with type 2 diabetes are
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Contact: Jillian Lubarsky
jlubarsky@jdrf.org
212-479-7626
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
Source:Eurekalert

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