August Newsletter 272

NHS to offer people at risk of diabetes free wearable technology

The NHS has announced that thousands of people who are at risk of type 2 diabetes will be offered wearable technology such as the Fitbit, in an effort to combat the disease. The fitness trackers or smart watches will help to monitor levels of exercise, allowing people to set and work towards goals such as number of steps per day. Much of the wearable technology also offers corresponding apps which include health advice and educational content. If not managed properly Type 2 daibetes can lead to sight-loss and heart disease”.

U.S. Beginning of a new era for patients with sight-loss

“New ‘bionic eyes’ consist of: 1.) a small camera mounted on a pair of glasses to capture images, 2.) a video-processing unit to convert captured images into electrical impulses the wearer can interpret, and 3.) an implant to create a perceived image. This implant sits directly on the brain itself. It is installed via a small craniotomy, in the back of the patient’s head. The process requires an overnight stay at the hospital followed by a three- to four-week recovery time before the unit is turned on”.

How visual reality and Smartphone technology are transforming life for those with vision loss

Drug with marine origins has the potential to treat sight-loss

“Researchers from Singapore and the United States are focused on a novel drug candidate with marine origins as a new method to prevent or treat vision loss”.

Age-related macula degeneration

“Researchers at Trinity College believe they have found a piece of the puzzle to help treat a common eye disease that can cause blindness in older people. scientists discovered that a key component of the cells lining the retinal blood vessels, namely claudin-5, may be central to the development of AMD. In pre-clinical models, it was discovered that “leaky blood vessels” pre-disposed the eye to developing features of AMD”. Identifying the early molecular events that cause dry AMD will allow the development of a targeted approach to therapy”

Mother talks about raising children after losing her sight

“Charlotte Carson is the busy mother of two little girls, Jess, eight, and six-year-old Connie, with a full-time job as a director of a charity — and responsibility for walking the family dog. Charlotte manages all of this while contending with extremely poor vision. She started losing her sight at the age of seven, and it has continued to worsen, to the point where she can now see just the outlines of objects. On some days, a heavy, grey fog obscures most of her vision”.  Full article below: