JUL 26, 2019
Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Cornea/External Disease, Retina/Vitreous, Uveitis
A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.
Drexel University just announced that they’ll shutter their ophthalmology practice in August, leaving patients with 4 weeks to find alternate care. Dr. Walter Harris, the first African American to lead Drexel’s Department of Ophthalmology, told The Philadelphia Tribune he had expected the clinic to survive the planned closure of Hahnemann University Hospital. The university's decision leaves 6 ophthalmologists scrambling to arrange ongoing care for their patients. “It’s hard to get an appointment with an ophthalmologist if you have good health insurance," Harris said. "What happens when you have Medical Assistance and you basically got 4 weeks to find another ophthalmologist?” The Philadelphia Tribune
A 21-year-old soldier with inflamed eyes proved tricky to treat with topical steroids—until he mentioned that his tattoos became bumpy and changed colors (above) in the weeks leading up to his eye issues. Additional tests, including a skin biopsy and chest CT scan, confirmed he had sarcoidosis. The man is currently undergoing oral immunosuppressive therapy. Ophthalmology
Pupil dilation and heart rate aberrations may predict autism years before existing tests can diagnose the condition, researchers proposed in PNAS. The team unveiled a machine-learning algorithm that can accurately spot autism features in mice and in 6- to 18-month-old girls with Rett syndrome. Existing tests can diagnose the condition after age 2. Early diagnostics for autism are coveted but controversial, so the algorithm will likely face tough scrutiny as it moves toward trials. PNAS
Mosquitoes blend vision and smell to track their next blood meal, biologists found after fitting the insects with tiny 3D-printed helmets, strapping them into a LED flight simulator and exposing them to puffs of CO2. Carbon dioxide stimulates neurons in the visual center of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes—the species that spreads dengue, chikungunya, Zika, Mayaro and yellow fever—and entices them to pursue large, dark objects. The findings suggest asymmetric coupling between the visual and olfactory systems steers mosquitoes to their prey. Current Biology
Oyster Point Pharma is moving forward with a nasal spray for dry eye disease, the company reports. The phase 3 ONSET-2 trial will test 2 doses of the spray in 750 people at research centers across the United States. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist activates the trigeminal parasympathetic pathway to stimulate natural tear film production, instead of acting directly on the ocular surface. Oyster Point Pharma, Inc.