Dopamine-restoring drugs already used to treat Parkinsonâ€™s disease may also be beneficial for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness in adults, researchers have discovered. The results were published recently in Journal of Neuroscience.
Diabetic retinopathy affects more than a quarter of adults with diabetes and threatens the vision of more than 600,000 people in the United States. Doctors had previously thought most of the impairment of vision in diabetic retinopathy came from damage to the blood vessels induced by high blood sugar, but had known that dopamine, a vital neurotransmitter in the brain, was also important in the retina.
â€œThere was some evidence already that dopamine levels were reduced in diabetic retinopathy, but whatâ€™s new here is: we can restore dopamine levels and improve visual Ray Ban outlet function in an animal model of diabetes,â€ says Machelle Pardue, PhD, associate professor of ophthalmology at Emory University School of Medicine and research career scientist at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Read more
Was your mother right when she told you not to read in dim light? Is there a correlation between your love of reading as a child and the fact that you now need glasses for distant objects?
These questions and more are being addressed by researchers at Emory and the Veterans Administration.
In a lab at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center near Emory, researcher Machelle Pardue, PhD, who has an appointment at Emory Eye Center, studies why some eyes seem to change over time, growing larger and longer, thereby making that eye what we call â€œnearsighted.â€ This dependence on glasses or contact lenses to see distant objects seems to be a growing phenomenon. Scientists and ophthalmologists call this nearsightedness myopia, and whether itâ€™s environmental or geneticâ€”or a likely combination of bothâ€”is fascinating to Pardue and her research colleagues.
Michelle Pardue, PhD
The unique collaborative nature of Pardueâ€™s work draws on the talents of many specialistsâ€”clinical, engineering, molecular, and imaging. Her ongoing work and the work of others who serve both at the VA and Emory will no doubt lead to important findings and from that, possible clinical treatments.
For more information about Pardueâ€™s work, read the feature article Â â€œClosing in on myopiaâ€”and moreâ€ in Emory Eye magazine, summer 2010, page 8.
Posted on August 3, 2010