Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Corticosteroid improves eyesight in patients with sudden vision loss

Date:
November 19, 2013
Source:
IOS Press BV
Summary:
Investigators have shown that the addition of the corticosteroid fluocortolone (FC) to standard therapy of those suffering from suddent vision loss significantly improves both short- and long-term visual acuity, especially when given soon after the onset of symptoms.

Nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) is one of the leading causes of sudden and irreversible loss of vision in older adults. In a prospective randomized trial of 60 patients with NAION, investigators have shown that the addition of the corticosteroid fluocortolone (FC) to standard therapy significantly improves both short- and long-term visual acuity, especially when given soon after the onset of symptoms. Their results are published in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.

NAION, a disabling condition which can affect both eyes in up to 19% of cases within 5 years, occurs in about 2.3 per 100,000 adults over the age of 50. Incidence increases steadily with age. Patients have few well-tested or effective treatment options beyond the standard administration of pentoxifylline (PTX), which is thought to improve visual acuity by improving the microcirculation in oxygen-deprived optic nerve tissue. No current treatment reverses or limits the course of the disease. The goal of the current study was to see whether adding a steroid to PTX could improve vision, perhaps by reducing edema or inflammation. 

Researchers from the Institute of Experimental Ophthalmology, University of Mόnster, Germany, studied 55 patients diagnosed with NAION who had developed sudden loss of visual acuity less than 3 days before the initial consultation. These patients were treated with PFX as well as adjunctive therapy with FC during the first 2-3 months (which was gradually tapered). The control group received only PFX.

Investigators found that PFX alone had no significant beneficial effects on either visual acuity (as measured as Best Corrected Visual Acuity, BCVA) or visual field after 3 days and 6 months of treatment. However, adding FC significantly boosted outcomes: those receiving FC were more likely to experience improvement and less likely to have worsened visual acuity. Progress was even more pronounced after 6 months of therapy. More than two thirds of NAION patients treated with the combination therapy had better long-term vision compared to only 14% of those only treated with PFX.

The authors explain why FC apparently benefits those who have less severe visual loss. “NAION is caused by ischemia of the optic nerve head.... This restriction of blood supply, depending upon its degree, results in primary irreversible loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) and secondary delayed RGC loss related to subsequent optic-disc edema,” says Verena Prokosch, PhD, Dr. med., Institute of Experimental Ophthalmology.

“Corticosteroids do not appear to reduce primary cell death, explaining the lack of benefit of FC therapy in patients with a BCVA score worse than 0.05. This may not be the case for patients with moderate BCVA loss who suffer secondary RGC loss due to optic-nerve swelling, revealing a possible therapeutic window for FC,” explains co-author Solon Thanos, MD, Prof. Dr. med. Dr. rer.nat., Institute of Experimental Ophthalmology. Prof. Dr. Thanos suggests that the pronounced long-term effect of FC on visual acuity found in the study could be attributed to early and prolonged treatment at a dose higher than previously tested.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by IOS Press BV. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Verena Prokosch, Solon Thanos. Visual outcome of patients following NAION after treatment with adjunctive fluocortolone. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, November 2013

Cite This Page:

IOS Press BV. "Corticosteroid improves eyesight in patients with sudden vision loss." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119112541.htm>.
IOS Press BV. (2013, November 19). Corticosteroid improves eyesight in patients with sudden vision loss. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119112541.htm
IOS Press BV. "Corticosteroid improves eyesight in patients with sudden vision loss." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119112541.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) — Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) — New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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:
from the past week

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