JUN 22, 2018
Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Pediatric Ophth/Strabismus, Retina/Vitreous
A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.
A member of the unassuming carrot family has health officials worried this summer. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has established a hotline for residents to report sightings of the giant hogweed, an invasive plant that lures admirers with verdant leaves stretching wider than their arms can reach and lacy white blooms towering higher than a giraffe’s head. But at the slightest touch, its stem exudes a photosensitizing sap that can cause third-degree skin burns and permanent blindness. Weed wackers are futile, say officials in Virginia, where the plant was recently spotted, because the blades will spatter the sap. Instead, they recommend unrooting the plant or destroying it with herbicides. USA Today
If it’s not giant hogweed, it’s a laser pointer. According to a new case study, a 9-year-old boy in Greece developed a large hole in his macula after staring intently into the beam of a green handheld laser. Ophthalmologists opted against surgery, given the size of the hole, and the boy’s vision has remained at 20/100 in the 18 months since his injury. New England Journal of Medicine
Odysight, a mobile video game for monitoring patients with chronic eye diseases, has received the coveted CE mark. The digital healthcare firm Tilak will begin beta testing soon in France, followed by the United Kingdom. The game tracks visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and other variables, and initiates follow-up appointments. Odysight is available in non-U.S. markets by prescription via the App Store or Google Play. Tilak
Researchers have mapped the neural networks of a woman who is blind but can see motion: her daughter's ponytail bobbing, but not her daughter's face, for example. Their findings reveal that the rare condition called Riddoch syndrome occurs when the brain forges unconventional detours around pathways damaged by stroke. “We think the 'super-highway' for the visual system reached a dead end. But rather than shutting down her whole visual system, she developed some 'back roads' that could bypass the superhighway to bring some vision—especially motion—to other parts of the brain," said Canadian neuropsychologist Jody Culham, whose work appeared in the journal Neuropsychologia. University of Western Ontario
New evidence suggests stem cells could improve vision for patients with retinitis pigmentosa. A report in the journal Stem Cell Investigation finds that 11 of 17 patients showed a 10-line improvement in vison after receiving an autologous bone marrow-derived stem cell treatment. The work is part of the ongoing Stem Cell Ophthalmology Treatment Study. Cision PRWeb