• By Anni Griswold and Keng Jin Lee
    Cataract/Anterior Segment, Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Retina/Vitreous

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    A 22-year old woman’s mysterious visual and auditory symptoms led ophthalmologists on a trail of discovery in an “Images in Medicine” feature published last week. After ruling out syphilis, herpes and tuberculosis, clinicians settled on a rare diagnosis: Cogan’s syndrome. Systemic glucocorticoids quickly curbed the inflammatory condition, restoring the woman’s sight and hearing within 1 month of initiating treatment. New England Journal of Medicine

    The eyes use a special trick to memorize details of visual scenes, researchers report. An eyetracking study revealed that adults move their eyes in a distinct pattern as they memorize objects on a screen, then repeat that pattern when they stare at a blank screen and recall the objects. "The same way a person repeats the digits of a phone number to remember it, the eyes help the brain strengthen the memory by repeating the same pattern of eye movements," said lead author Jennifer Ryan, a psychology and psychiatry professor at the University of Toronto. EurekAlert!

    Retinopathy at age 60 could portend cognitive decline decades later, a study finds. Damage to the blood vessels in the retina could mirror similar changes in the brain, according to a study of 12,317 people who took memory tests and retinal photographs at an average age of 60, 66 and 80 years. Researchers say if they can confirm the results, changes in retinal integrity may provide an early indicator of cognitive decline. EurekAlert!

    An investigational sterol eyedrop for reversing cataracts is attracting investors, raising $35 million in series B financing. CEO Dr. Leah Makley describes the novel compound—which is capable of restoring lens transparency in mice—in this interview from AAO 2015. Viewpoint Therapeutics

    The NEI has launched an international study to understand natural history of AMD progression. The study will track 500 people with early AMD over 5-year period. “The findings will contribute to our understanding of the underlying biology driving the transition from early to late-stage disease so that therapies can be developed to halt its progression,” said lead investigator, Emily Y. Chew, MD. NEI

    In other AMD-related news, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute has received a $12 million gift to establish a center for research on AMD and retinal diseases. The gift from distinguished philanthropist Lois Pope represents the largest single donation that Bascom Palmer has received in its 56-year history. The 21,000-square-foot Lois Pope research center will be equipped with the latest research, diagnostic and imaging technology, and educational facilities. PR Newswire