• By Anni Delfaro
    Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Pediatric Ophth/Strabismus, Refractive Mgmt/Intervention, Retina/Vitreous

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    How often do toddlers with astigmatism wear their eyeglasses? That’s the question a 5-year, $4.1 million NIH-funded study aims to answer by fitting toddlers with wearable sensors. University of Arizona researchers aim to help parents and pediatricians gauge whether the benefits of eyeglasses for young children outweigh the expense and need for supervision. The key questions, according to co-investigator Erin M. Harvey, PhD, an associate professor of ophthalmology and public health, are: “If eyeglasses are prescribed for astigmatism in this age range, will children wear them? And will they produce a measurable impact on vision and language, cognitive and motor development?” University of Arizona

    A new therapy for dry AMD is $3.73 million closer to clinical trials. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine awarded the funds to Mark Humayun, MD, PhD, co-director of the University of Southern California Eye Institute and director of the Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics. Dr. Humayun and his colleagues created an injectable cocktail of molecules produced by healthy retinal cells and found that it spurs healing and slows retinal degeneration in animals. The grant aims to accelerate the project’s transition to clinical trials. University of Southern California

    A once-daily drop for neovascular eye disease breezed through a phase 1/2 trial, PanOptica reported at AAO 2019 in San Francisco. The anti-VEGF drop, PAN-90806, worked well as a monotherapy in 51 treatment-naïve patients with neovascular AMD. More than half of the patients completed the 12-week study without requiring rescue anti-VEGF injections. Of those patients, 88% experienced clinical improvement or stability with no serious effects. PanOptica

    More than 1 billion cases of blindness or vision impairment could be prevented, according to the World Health Organization’s first global report on vision. The burgeoning problem is fueled by aging populations, changing lifestyles and limited access to eye care. “It is unacceptable that 65 million people are blind or have impaired sight when their vision could have been corrected overnight with a cataract operation, or that over 800 million struggle in everyday activities because they lack access to a pair of glasses,” says Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, WHO Director-General. World Health Organization

    Vision therapy in children can treat convergence insufficiency but fails to boost reading fluency, according to a study funded by the National Eye Institute. The findings suggest that successful vergence/accommodative therapy is no better than placebo at improving reading test scores. An earlier Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial (CITT) found that office-based vision therapy offered long-lasting improvements in convergence. The new study suggests the benefits stop there, however. “This trial indicates that clinicians should not suggest that it will lead to increased reading performance,” said lead investigator Mitchell Scheiman, OD, PhD. National Eye Institute