JUN 10, 2022
Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Cornea/External Disease, Pediatric Ophth/Strabismus, Retina/Vitreous
A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.
An atypical macular dystrophy is linked to signal peptide variants. Just-published findings from a study conducted at the National Eye Institute indicate a potential new macular dystrophy disease, involving 2 variants of the signal peptide sequence of the TIMP3 gene. Eleven patients from 2 families with early-onset diffuse maculopathy but not the classic symptoms of Sorsby fundus dystrophy (e.g., choroidal neovascularization) underwent molecular genetic testing. Test results and clinical evaluations led to the connection of these variants, c.29T>A p. (Leu10His) in family K257 and c.34G>C p. (Gly12Arg) in family K392, to this atypical maculopathy. Further research is needed to confirm these findings around a potential novel eye disease. JAMA Ophthalmology, National Eye Institute
COVID-19 lockdowns led to fewer ophthalmic surgical procedures. Clinicians at a large university hospital in Germany assessed the effect of the initial COVID-19 lockdown on ophthalmic diagnostic procedures and surgeries, and found significantly lower rates of hospital admissions and surgeries in 2020 than in 2019. The only procedure with an increased incidence rate was keratoplasty. Significant decreases in outpatient visits for intravitreal injections and consultations for contact lens fittings and cataract were also found. The authors note that while the COVID-19 pandemic continues, telemedicine will be useful in some situations, but any ongoing reductions in the volume of surgical interventions will potentially lead to inadequate care for many patients. Clinical Ophthalmology
Children with intermittent exotropia may become slower readers. A study conducted in China compared reading speed in 63 children aged 10–14 years with intermittent exotropia (IXT) and 44 age- and sex-matched controls without strabismus. The group with IXT had significantly slower average reading speed than the control group (231 vs 257 characters per minute, respectively). In those with IXT, slower reading speed appeared to be correlated with worse stereoscopic/near stereo vision, as indicated by LogTNO measurements. This can affect the overall school performance of children who have uncorrected IXT. Scientific Reports
Medical University of South Carolina receives Blue Sky Award for AMD research. The award, which is given to nontraditional research projects and is accompanied by $100,000 in funding, was given to MUSC for its ongoing study of recharging eye cell batteries to help restore vision in patients with AMD. The project involves providing the mitochondria in the eyes with a new template for copying its DNA, potentially ameliorating the conditions that lead to AMD. One of the researchers, graduate student Kyrie Wilson, said that curing AMD is the focus of the initiative: “We knew that if we could treat the disease at the root cause, and not just the symptoms, that would be a huge step forward in regenerative medicine.” Medical University of South Carolina
Bevacizumab for AMD: Not ready for prime time just yet. The FDA has asked for additional data from the 3 key clinical trials of ONS-5010 (Lytenatva) in AMD—NORSE 1, NORSE 2, and NORSE 3—to bolster the Biologics License Application (BLA) submitted in March 2022. In response, Outlook Therapeutics has withdrawn the BLA and expects to resubmit in September 2022. The agent is an investigational ophthalmic formulation of bevacizumab (bevacizumab-vikg) that will be administered as an intravitreal injection. Ophthalmology Times