• By Anni Griswold, Kanaga Rajan and Keng Jin Lee
    Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Cornea/External Disease, Glaucoma, Ocular Pathology/Oncology

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    Donor corneas and ophthalmology instruments could potentially spread prions—infectious proteins that are nearly impervious to destruction—according to this piece in Scientific American. Infected donor corneas have transmitted prion disease to recipients on multiple occasions, and people with prions often seek care for eye trouble before realizing they are infected. Experts have called for single-use instruments or improved procedures for decontaminating ophthalmology equipment. Scientific American

    Twenty cigarettes a day keeps color vision and contrast sensitivity away, according to new findings in Psychiatry Research.  Researchers previously found that heavy smoking doubles the risk of AMD. The new study finds that smokers experience dramatic changes in red-green and blue-yellow color vision compared with nonsmokers. Neurotoxic chemicals in cigarettes may damage blood vessels and neurons in the retina, the authors propose. Rutgers Today

    Alembic Pharmaceutical’s extended-release acetazolamide just won FDA approval. The 500-mg capsules are indicated as an adjunctive IOP-lowering treatment in people with certain glaucoma subtypes. The drug is therapeutically equivalent to Diamox (Teva Branded Pharmaceutical). Alembic Pharmaceuticals

    Provectus’ PV-10 now has orphan drug status for the treatment of ocular melanoma, expanding the existing designations for metastatic melanoma, hepatocellular carcinoma and neuroblastoma. The small molecule oncolytic immunotherapy triggers cell death in solid tumors and prompts circulating immune cells to find and attack tumor cells. In preliminary studies, PV-10 reduced tumor size in 5 of 6 people who had uveal melanoma with hepatic metastasis. Provectus Biopharmaceuticals

    Meanwhile, Oculogica’s EyeBOX is the first FDA-approved noninvasive, baseline-free tool for diagnosing concussion in children and adults. The device tracks patients’ eyes as they watch a 4-minute video and detects movements linked to concussion. In a trial of 282 patients, the device showed a high sensitivity in detecting people with concussions. JAMA, Oculogica

     

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    Don’t miss last week’s roundup: Cannabis drops, TearCare touchup, not-so-smart phones