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AAO-SOE Joint Meeting research highlights
Date:11/8/2008

hich can damage protein, DNA and other cell components. In an inflammatory response, the body's vascular and immune systems work in concert to remove disease-causing agents, damaged cells, or other irritants, and to initiate tissue healing. If immune system regulation goes awry, an overly strong inflammatory response--such as hay fever or atherosclerosis--can result.

In Dr. Law's study an inflammation-promoting biochemical, interleukin 6 (IL-6), was found to be significantly higher in the AMD patients, and IL-6 levels also correlated with oxidative stress measurements in these patients. This suggests that IL-6 is a good candidate for further study as a potential AMD biomarker. It also indicates that common biological signaling mechanisms may be involved in both oxidative stress and inflammation and may contribute to AMD development as well as general aging.

Other recent research has established that AMD is closely associated with certain genetic variations that control aspects of the immune system, especially the inflammatory response. Numerous studies have also confirmed the role of oxidative stress in AMD development and progression. Dr. Law's study focused on plasma-based biomarkers because blood sample screening is a relatively simple yet accurate diagnostic tool.

This preliminary cohort study did not attempt to determine whether IL-6 levels varied with AMD types--"wet" AMD, characterized by rapid growth of abnormal blood vessels and heightened risk of vision loss, or the more common "dry" type--or with disease severity.

Corneal Collagen Crosslinking: Treatment Results in Keratoconus Patients

Keratoconus is an eye disorder that causes corneal tissue to become abnormally thin and the central area to protrude in a cone shape, distorting vision. The cornea is the clear tissue that covers the front of the eye and is crucial to focusing light on the back of the eye. In the US, keratoconus occurs in 50 to200 per 100
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Contact: Mary Wade
mwade@aao.org
415-531-3061
American Academy of Ophthalmology
Source:Eurekalert

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