MAY 11, 2018
Cataract/Anterior Segment, Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Retina/Vitreous
A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals will soon change its name to Bausch Health Companies as a nod to the company’s better-known and respected subsidiary, Bausch + Lomb. The company will roll out its new name, logo and website in July. Wall Street Journal
Ophthalmologists in Sierra Leone have uncovered new details about Ebola pathogenesis. The doctors scanned the retinal lesions of 14 Ebola survivors and found that the virus mounts a neuronal rather than vascular attack. Ebola appears to spare the macula and head directly for retinal ganglion cells, destroying the neurons and their afferent photoreceptors. JAMA Ophthalmology
A new ‘retina-on-a-chip’ mimics neuronal networks and could spur ophthalmic drug development, researchers reported in Science Advances. To demonstrate its use, the team exposed the NN-Chip to damaging rays and watched as a wave of apoptosis spread from exposed cone photoreceptors to ‘bystander’ cones that weren’t directly hit by the light’s glare. “What surprised us was how quickly the killing effect progressed in the experimental model. Damage went from 100 cells to 10,000 cells in 24 hours,” said lead investigator Lidong Qin, PhD. Houston Methodist Research Institute
The world’s oldest living land animal, Jonathan the tortoise, is 186 years old and blind. But cataract surgery is too risky, according to Jonathan’s veterinarian on the South Atlantic island of St. Helena, so the tortoise will have to explore the grounds by touch and memory. Daily Mail
Novartis’ eye-care division, Alcon, has stepped up to reduce cataract blindness by donating phacoemulsification equipment to underserved communities. The initiative, called Alcon Cares 100, will send 100 reprocessed Infiniti units to clinics in Asia, Central and South America and Africa over the next 3 years. Unfortunately for Jonathan, these units are earmarked for human patients. Novartis