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Researchers Make Headway in Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy

Research has shown a way for people suffering diabetic retinopathy. The treatment envisaged assists in retarding as well as alleviating the effects of diabetic retinopathy,// which is by far the most common consequence of diabetes.

In the initial stages, retinopathy does not portray any visible symptoms but is capable of progressing gradually to cause the blood vessels of the eye to leak and break easily which ultimately could cause blindness. This complication is triggered by high blood glucose levels, almost all people suffering type 1 diabetes portray few symptoms of the disorder.

An in-depth article in the spring 2007 edition of Countdown, the quarterly journal of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, details ongoing human clinical trials in this area, and important findings that have been made to date. In the article, JDRF-funded scientists share valuable insights into the causes of retinopathy, as well as the therapeutics that are being developed as a result of the identification of new biological targets.

One study mentioned within the article was led by Dr. Lloyd Aiello of the Joslin Diabetes Center, who showed that the compound ruboxistaurin slowed the progress of retinopathy by inhibiting an enzyme in the body called protein kinase C beta (PKC beta), which is believed to contribute to the blood vessel damage that leads to the disease. This is the first time a drug has been shown to protect against the complication in a human clinical trial.

According to Dr. Richard Insel, Executive Vice President of Research for JDRF, "Since retinopathy is the most common and serious eye-related complication of those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes – and is the leading cause of adult blindness in Americans – the outstanding research being done in this area will have a significant impact on the millions of people with diabetes."


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