Navigation Links
Researchers identify an early predictor for glaucoma

SAN FRANCISCO January 2, 2013 A new study finds that certain changes in blood vessels in the eye's retina can be an early warning that a person is at increased risk for glaucoma, an eye disease that slowly robs people of their peripheral vision. Using diagnostic photos and other data from the Australian Blue Mountains Eye Study, the researchers showed that patients who had abnormally narrow retinal arteries when the study began were also those who were most likely to have glaucoma at its 10-year end point. If confirmed by future research, this finding could give ophthalmologists a new way to identify and treat those who are most vulnerable to vision loss from glaucoma. The study was recently published online by Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Open-angle glaucoma (OAG), the most common form of the disease, affects nearly three million people in the U.S and 60 million worldwide. Vision loss occurs when glaucoma damages the optic nerve, the part of the eye that transmits images from the retina to the brain. Unfortunately, because glaucoma does not have symptoms, many people don't know they have the disease until a good portion of their sight has been lost. Early detection is critical to treating glaucoma in time to preserve vision.

The findings of the new study, led by Paul Mitchell, M.D., PhD, of the Centre for Vision Research, University of Sydney, supports the concept that abnormal narrowing of retinal blood vessels is an important factor in the earliest stages of OAG. Tracking nearly 2,500 participants, the study found that the OAG risk at the 10-year mark was about four times higher in patients whose retinal arteries had been narrowest when the study began, compared with those who had had the widest arteries.

None of the participants had a diagnosis of OAG at the study's outset. Compared with the study group as a whole, the patients who were diagnosed with OAG by the 10-year mark were older, had had higher blood pressure or higher intraocular pressure at the study's baseline, and were more likely to be female. Elevated intraocular pressure, or pressure within the eye, is often found in patients with OAG. Study results were adjusted for age, family history of glaucoma, smoking, diabetes, hypertension, and other relevant factors.

"Our results suggest that a computer-based imaging tool designed to detect narrowing of the retinal artery caliber, or diameter, could effectively identify those who are most at risk for open-angle glaucoma," said Dr. Mitchell. "Such a tool would also need to account for blood pressure and other factors that can contribute to blood vessel changes. Early detection would allow ophthalmologists to treat patients before optic nerve damage occurs and would give us the best chance of protecting their vision."

A symptomless eye disease like glaucoma highlights the importance of regular eye exams. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that everyone have a complete eye exam by an ophthalmologist at age 40 and stick to the follow-up exam schedule advised by their doctor.

This January during Glaucoma Awareness Month, the Academy encourages people to learn more about the disease known as "the sneak thief of sight." People who have a family history of glaucoma, or who are African-American or Hispanic, may be at higher risk. For more information on glaucoma, its risk factors and treatment options, visit

Contact: Mary Wade
American Academy of Ophthalmology

Related medicine news :

1. PolyU Researchers Develop Novel Treatment for People with Hemiplegic Arms
2. A Serious Problem: Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Console & Hollawell React to Alarming Doctor Error Statistics from Johns Hopkins University Researchers
3. U of T Researchers uncover major source of evolutionary differences among species
4. MRIs reveal signs of brain injuries not seen in CT scans, UCSF/SFGH researchers report
5. Researchers find model system to study promising cancer drug
6. UNC researchers discover how hepatitis C virus reprograms human liver cells
7. Mayo Clinic researchers identify enzyme linked to prostate cancer
8. Researchers identify role for protein linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes
9. CWRU School of Medicine researchers discover new molecule linked to late-stage breast cancer
10. GOOOAAALLL! What soccer can teach health researchers
11. UAlberta medical researchers discover new potential chemotherapy
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... Physicians’ Education Resource®, LLC (PER®) ... announced that the first annual School of Gastrointestinal Oncology™ (SOGO™) will be held ... treatment of gastrointestinal cancers are undergoing transformational change, providing oncologists with powerful new ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Growth in ... part due to decreases in utilization of hospital and nonhospital care, according to a ... CompScope™ Medical Benchmarks for Louisiana, 16th Edition , found medical payments per claim with ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Illinois (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... and share medical images have been lifted as IMAGE Information Systems launches MED-TAB™ ... Society of North America Annual Meeting from November 29 to December 4, 2015. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Visage accelerates ... a wholly owned subsidiary of Pro Medicus Ltd. (ASX: PME), has announced they ... Society of North America (RSNA) 2015 annual meeting through December 3 in Chicago, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... and clinical solutions for the care management and population health arenas, is pleased ... providing clinical and cost containment services, has successfully implemented the ACUITY Complete Care™ ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... A federal court has denied the state of ... filed by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) challenging the ... law that forces employers and consumers to pay drugstores higher ... must now defend a law that raises health care ... Mark Merritt . --> Arkansas ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015 Pharma Tech Outlook recently conducted ... Clinical Data Management Solution Providers - 2015 .  After ... comprising CEOs, CIOs, VCs, analysts, and the Pharma Tech ... of top 10 clinical data management solution providers (check ... 14 and 36 respectively). --> ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... VERONA, Va. , Dec. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... today unveiled a new corporate logo and brand ... in the design and engineering of bladed products ... --> --> Serving ... fiber, glass, and auto glass equipment, AccuTEC,s product ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: