Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early predictor for glaucoma identified

Date:
January 2, 2013
Source:
American Academy of Ophthalmology
Summary:
A new study finds that certain changes in retinal blood vessels provide an early warning of increased glaucoma risk. Using Blue Mountains Eye Study data, the researchers showed that patients who had abnormally narrow retinal arteries at baseline were also most likely to have glaucoma at 10-year follow up. If confirmed by future research, this finding could give ophthalmologists a new way to identify and treat those who are most vulnerable to glaucoma.

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.

Related Articles


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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Ophthalmology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ryo Kawasaki, Jie Jin Wang, Elena Rochtchina, Anne J. Lee, Tien Yin Wong, Paul Mitchell. Retinal Vessel Caliber Is Associated with the 10-year Incidence of Glaucoma: The Blue Mountains Eye Study. Ophthalmology, 2013 DOI: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2012.07.007

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Ophthalmology. "Early predictor for glaucoma identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130102083613.htm>.
American Academy of Ophthalmology. (2013, January 2). Early predictor for glaucoma identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130102083613.htm
American Academy of Ophthalmology. "Early predictor for glaucoma identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130102083613.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins