Saturday, May 2, 2020

Scientists regenerate neurons in mice with spinal cord injury and optic nerve damage

Scientists regenerate neurons in mice with spinal cord injury and optic nerve damage

New research by scientists at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine Temple University (LKSOM) shows, however, that gains in functional recovery from these injuries may be possible, thanks to a molecule known as Lin28, which regulates cell growth. In a study published online in the journal Molecular Therapy, the Temple researchers describe the ability of Lin28 -- when expressed above its usual levels -- to fuel axon regrowth in mice with spinal cord injury or optic nerve injury, enabling repair of the body's communication grid.
"Our findings show that Lin28 is a major regulator of axon regeneration and a promising therapeutic target for central nervous system injuries," explained Shuxin Li, MD, PhD, Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology and in the Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and senior investigator on the new study. The research is the first to demonstrate the regenerative ability of Lin28 upregulation in the injured spinal cord of animals.
"We became interested in Lin28 as a target for neuron regeneration because it acts as a gatekeeper of stem cell activity," said Dr. Li. "It controls the switch that maintains stem cells or allows them to differentiate and potentially contribute to activities such as axon regeneration."

To explore the effects of Lin28 on axon regrowth, Dr. Li and colleagues developed a mouse model in which animals expressed extra Lin28 in some of their tissues. When full-grown, the animals were divided into groups that sustained spinal cord injury or injury to the optic nerve tracts that connect to the retina in the eye.
Another set of adult mice, with normal Lin28 expression and similar injuries, were given injections of a viral vector (a type of carrier) for Lin28 to examine the molecule's direct effects on tissue repair.
Extra Lin28 stimulated long-distance axon regeneration in all instances, though the most dramatic effects were observed following post-injury injection of Lin28. In mice with spinal cord injury, Lin28 injection resulted in the growth of axons to more than three millimeters beyond the area of axon damage, while in animals with optic nerve injury, axons regrew the entire length of the optic nerve tract. Evaluation of walking and sensory abilities after Lin28 treatment revealed significant improvements in coordination and sensation.
"We observed a lot of axon regrowth, which could be very significant clinically, since there currently are no regenerative treatments for spinal cord injury or optic nerve injury," Dr. Li explained.
One of his goals in the near-term is to identify a safe and effective means of getting Lin28 to injured tissues in human patients. To do so, his team of researchers will need to develop a vector, or carrier system for Lin28, that can be injected systemically and then hone in on injured axons to deliver the therapy directly to multiple populations of damaged neurons.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Is there any way to delay cataracts?

Is there any way to delay cataracts?

How do cataracts work?
The reason we can’t find a way to delay cataracts is that it’s more complicated than keeping a clear lens from becoming cloudy. It’s less like trying to keep a window clear and more like trying to stop aging. Scientists haven’t figured out a way to delay aging, even though we have a pretty good idea of what causes it biochemically. The same is true of cataracts.
The lens inside your eye lays down new layers each year, a lot like a tree laying down new rings each year. As the center of the lens gets more compressed over time, it hardens and gets cloudy. There is a type of biochemical bond called a disulfide bond, and it happens between the cysteine amino acids of the crystalline proteins in your eye. Yet, despite every fancy word of that being true, we don’t really have a way to stop it or delay it.
Are there risk factors for cataracts?
The one exception is UV light. Populations near the equator get cataracts quicker than populations far from the equator. So we have a pretty good guess that more UV light over the years will speed up the development of cataracts. In my own experience, however, I’ve noticed anecdotally that there’s not a super tight correlation with UV light. It’s a risk factor, but not a great predictor.

Is there anything I can do?
Living healthy is a good thing. Getting the right vitamins and minerals and antioxidants into your body is a good thing. Wearing sunglasses to minimize UV exposure is also a good thing. Yet, none of these actions can be said to definitively delay cataracts. It’s important to know that when you read about a miracle ingredient that delays cataracts. We just don’t have one yet. But when we do, I will shout it from the mountaintops. I can’t wait.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Eye Hygiene and COVID-19 – What You Need To Know

Brief COVID-19 note:

Due to the timing of this blog (March, 2020) we would like to also remind readers that COVID-19 comes with many adverse health effects– including on the eyes. During this unprecedented time the AAO recommends discontinuing contact lens use in favor of wearing your back up glasses instead. While this is a good preventative measure ultimately social distancing is the best way to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of the illness. With that being said, one thing to consider is to order your at-home project supplies online and get them delivered right to your door.
Spring is upon us and that means it’s time for the dreaded spring cleaning, home improvements, and yard cleanup. At Kugler Vision, Omaha’s #1 LASIK provider, we want to ensure that as you are checking these tasks off your list you are using the proper eye safety equipment to do so. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), nearly half of all serious eye injuries occur at home.
As we mentioned, the most common eye injuries occur during tasks such as:
Cleaning – Bleach, often found in household cleaning products causes thousands of eye injuries each year. If you doget bleach in your eye, take it seriously.

Home Improvement Projects – Many home improvement projects entail sharp or heavy hand and power tools that, let’s be honest, most of us don’t use regularly. These devices can project and propel discarded material, screws, nails, metal shavings, wood chips, etc. capable of causing serious injury to the eyes and face.
Yard Work – Flying debris from lawn mowers, trimmers, weed eaters, shovels and other yard cleanup tools can be dangerous and lead to outdoor eye injuries.
If you experience an eye injury of any kind while at home it’s important to wash your hands, take out your contacts or remove your glasses, rinse the eye(s) with warm water and then proceed to the nearest medical facility to receive emergency care. Avoid rubbing your eyes or using eye drops until being looked at by a medical professional.

With these circumstances in mind, we’ve compiled a list of things you can do to keep your eyes safe as you prepare your home for the warmer weather. At the top of the list is to always wear protective eyewear. Studies show that taking this safety precaution could eliminate chances of an eye injury by up to 90 percent. Choosing which type of eyewear to use will depend on what you are doing.

It’s important to remember that your everyday contacts or glasses do not qualify as true eye protection. Regular eyeglasses or sunglasses are not certified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for safety and can actually break or shatter if impacted which would result in additional eye injuries. When it comes to protective eyewear owning at least one ANSI approved pair is recommended. In most home project cases ANSI certified eyewear is more than enough.

There will be instances where accidents and injuries may occur in all areas of the home but taking the proper proactive safety measures could diminish the risk of them even more.

Consider these eye safety precautions while at home:
Read the labels of your cleaning solutions carefully to ensure you know the risks and safety measures to take in advance. It’s also important to know the first aid instructions if a situation occurs where your eyes are contaminated by these chemicals.
Before starting work on your lawn be sure to take a brief walk through to ensure there aren’t any loose twigs, rocks, or other debris that could be hazardous or become airborne if hit with a lawn mower or other yard tool.
Keep all tools and equipment in good condition and repair immediately if necessary. Using broken or damaged tools can result in an eye injury—one that could have been avoided.
When cleaning or spraying weeds outside be sure the nozzles are always facing away from you.
Another area that can be hazardous in the home is the kitchen. Hot appliances and sharp knives—these are just a couple of the the dangers located in the kitchen that could effect the eyes. In addition to the hot surfaces and sharp utensils there is also splattering grease, boiling water, and also foods that can burn and irritate the eyes if hands are not washed properly after handling them.
Eye hazards can be found all over the home but being proactive and setting an example for your children by using protective and certified eyewear is a great way to avoid eye injuries while at home.

Friday, March 27, 2020

IF you suffer from frequent headaches, it might be time to schedule an eye exam.

IF you suffer from frequent headaches, it might be time to schedule an eye exam.
For many people, headaches can be a symptom of uncorrected vision problems. This doesn’t happen in all cases of uncorrected or undiagnosed vision problems, and of course not all headaches are caused by vision problems, but the connection is a significant one — just one more reason why regular eye exams are important!
Effects of Eye Strain
In this age of technology, many of us spend hours and hours on a work computer or a smart phone. As convenient as these devices are, they are also the main culprits behind eye strain, which has symptoms like tired, aching eyes, blurred vision, and even frequent headaches.
But even if your screens aren’t the problem, eye strain still might be. Uncorrected visual acuity problems like astigmatism, hyperopia, and presbyopia can all put a lot of strain on the eyes. With astigmatism, the cornea is an abnormal shape, bending light in strange ways and causing a lot of squinting, which can contribute to headaches.
Hyperopia or farsightedness occurs when the eye focuses images behind the retina instead of directly on it, making close objects appear blurred. This can make reading smaller print a literal headache. The same applies to presbyopia, which can affect many people who have never needed glasses before. As we age, the lenses in our eyes become less flexible, which makes it harder to focus on near objects.
These Problems Aren’t Unique to Adults
If a child has frequent headaches, undiagnosed vision problems could be responsible, even if they read the letters on the big E chart in the school nurse’s office with no trouble. Comprehensive eye exams with the eye doctor will determine whether there are any other vision problems causing headaches or difficulty in school, and then we can plan the best way to treat them.
An Updated Prescription Can Make a Huge Difference
For most of us, changes in our vision can be so gradual that we may not notice that our glasses aren’t helping as much as they used to for quite a while. In most cases where headaches are connected to eye problems, a simple updated glasses or contact lens prescription may do the trick.

Headaches and Sight-Threatening Conditions
Unfortunately, not every case of headaches related to eye problems is as simple as needing a new prescription. Headaches can also be a symptom of glaucoma, an eye disease characterized by building pressure against the optic nerve that leads to vision loss. Cataracts, too, can cause headaches. Cataracts are the clouding of the lens of the eye, gradually obscuring vision.

Keep Up with Your Eye Exams
You might think that you would notice if you had an eye problem, but our eyes and brains work hard to compensate when something goes wrong, so it’s harder to recognize than you might expect. If you haven’t found an explanation for your frequent headaches, it might be a good idea to cross eye problems off the list by scheduling your next appointment with us.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Can the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Affect the Eyes? A Review of Corona viruses and Ocular Implications in Humans and Animals

In December 2019, a unique coronavirus epidemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus – 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged from China. This virus causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Since then, there are anecdotal reports of ocular infection. The ocular implications of human (CoV) infections haven't been widely studied. However, CoVs are known to cause various ocular infections in animals. Clinical entities like conjunctivitis, anterior uveitis, retinitis, and optic neuritis are documented in feline and murine models. This evidence suggesting possible human CoV infection of ocular tissue is surveyed. We hope that this may function a start for further research into the ocular implications of human CoV infections.

CoVs rose to public prominence after the outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.The SARS-CoV outbreak was reported to possess infected over 8000 people and resulted in 774 deaths globally. Since then, the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has also been within the public spotlight.

A set of recommendations for private protective equipment (PPE) supported the experience of MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV are released.7 This set of advice includes wearing goggles or faceshield for defense against ocular transmission of the CoV.

The Coronavirus Structure and Host:

The CoV name may be a derivative from the Latin word corona which suggests crown. this can be because of the characteristic structure of the virus whereby surface projections on the viral envelope provides it an appearance almost like a crown. The virus may be a single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus with a genome of around 30 kb long. This makes them the most important known RNA viruses. The S-protein is answerable for attachment to host receptors, M protein helps shape the virion particles and binding to nucleocapsid, E-protein plays a job within the assembly and release of particles while N-protein aids with the binding of the genome to a replication-transcription complex which is required for the replication of genomic material.
Human Coronaviruses and also the Evidence for OcularManifestations
There are seven types CoVs known to infect humans
·         Alpha coronavirus 229E
·         Alpha coronavirus NL63
·         Beta coronavirus OC43
·         Beta coronavirus HKU1
·         Beta coronavirus MERS-CoV
·         Beta coronavirus SARS-CoV
·         And Recent SARS-CoV-2(COVID-19)

Feline Coronaviruses and Ocular Manifestations:

The feline CoV (FCoV) is an Alphacoronavirus that affects both domestic and wild cats. Approximately 20–60% of domestic cats are seropositive, while in animal shelters, the seropositive rates can approach almost 90%. FCoVs is further classified into two biotypes which reflect very varied clinical presentations.
·         Feline enteric CoV (FECV)
·         Feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV)
In majority of those seropositive cases, the FCoVs exist as FECV. For many of the FECV cases, the infection is typically benign or related to a self-limiting diarrhea. This can be because FECV has been shown to demonstrate tropism to the apical epithelium of the intestinal villi from the tiny intestine to the cecum. As such, FECV shedding in feline feces is answerable for the fecal–oral spread and maintenance of FECV infection in feline populations, explaining the high seropositive rates of the infection.
The ocular manifestation of FIP is probably going because of underlying vasculitis, leading to inflammation of varying ocular segments. During a study that observed FIPV-infected felines and their offspring, 90% of the infected cats had FCoV antigen detected within the conjunctiva. Viral isolates from conjunctival swabs also contained live FCoV which suggest that ocular tissues and secretions were potentially infectious additionally. Furthermore, the initially healthy offspring, after being kept with the infected parents for 100 days, developed recurrent bouts of conjunctivitis. Except for conjunctivitis, ocular manifestations include pyogranulomatous anterioruveitis, choroiditis with detachment of the retina and retinal vasculitis. In general, ocular manifestations of FIPV infection have poor prognosis both visually and systemically.


As CoVs can cause ocular infection across different animals, the likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 having ocular implications can't be ignored. However, the examples in animals also highlight that CoVs are a heterogeneous group of viruses that may cause ocular implications through a good sort of mechanisms. A number of these mechanisms are extremely different from those adopted by human CoVs. Nevertheless, there are lessons to be learned by understanding these infections. Firstly, CoVs are capable of manufacturing a good spectrum of ocular manifestations from anterior segment pathologies like conjunctivitis and anterior uveitis to sight-threatening conditions like retinitis and optic neuritis. Secondly, it's going to even be prudent to acknowledge that CoVs also can develop in-vivo mutations which drastically alter the manifestations of the disease.

Given the anecdotal nature of evidence regarding SARS-CoV-2 transmission through ocular tissue, more research must be done to verify its ability to infect ocular tissue and its pathogenic mechanisms. Because the current epidemic continues, an improved understanding of the virus will emerge, hopefully with more emphasis on research into the connection between human CoVs and also the eye. This understanding won't only help to guide infection control measures but also can provide insights on the feasibility of using ocular tissue or perhaps tears as a medium of diagnosis. Meanwhile, ophthalmologists and other health-care workers should still err on the side of caution and still prevent the possible transmission of CoVs through ocular tissue. 

Friday, March 13, 2020

Can Supplements Improve Eye Health and Vision

   Can Supplements Improve Eye Health and Vision

You’ve probably heard someone say, “Eat your carrots, they’re good for your eyes.” you'll need also seen advertisements for nutritional supplements for eye health.  Vitamins and minerals benefit your eye health and vision. Keep reading to seek out out more about supplements and eye health.
Plenty of claims are made about the positive effects of supplements on vision and eye health, but only some research studies support these claims. One exception is that the Age-Related disease Studies. These are large studies conducted by the National Eye Institute.
The studies focused on two conditions that affect voluminous Americans, age-related degeneration and cataracts.
Age-related degeneration (AMD)
AMD occurs when there’s deterioration of light-sensitive cells within the macula area of the retina. this could be the a component of the eye responsible for:
• Recording what we see and sending the information to our brains
• Seeing fine detail
• Focusing


A cataract may be a clouding of the lens of the eye. it's visiting impair your ability to see to a tolerable degree to perform daily tasks and will deteriorate over time.
In study participants, the prospect of AMD and high vision loss was reduced by 25 percent over six years. In people with AMD, the condition was slowed only in people with moderate AMD. Supplements weren't effective for people with mild or very advanced stages.
Lutein and zeaxanthin supplements taken as a component of the AREDS2 formulation were seen to reduce the requirement for cataract surgery by 32 percent in those that initially had low dietary levels of these carotenoids.

What supplements may help my eye health
The following supplements, including the antioxidants found in AREDS2 capsules, are shown to be beneficial for some people.

1.      Lutein and Zeaxanthin Lutein:  Carotenoids are pigments found in plants and in your retina. Supplementing these pigments helps increase their density in your retina. They also absorb high-energy blue and actinic ray which is able to damage your eyes.

 Zinc: Also found naturally in your eyes, zinc may be a strong antioxidant that protects against cell damage. Zinc is that the first mineral within the AREDS2 formulation. When taking zinc, copper absorption is lessened. It’s recommended that zinc be combined with copper supplements.

 Thiamin (thiamine): Vitamin B1 is vital for the health of your eyes. There’s evidence that thiamin, gaga other vitamins, may reduce your risk of getting cataracts, but more research is required.
 Omega-3 fatty acids: The diet of most Americans doesn’t contain enough omega-3 fatty acids, the foremost source of which is fish. Photo receptors cells in your retina contain an oversized quantity of omega-3 acid. It’s believed that omega-3 carboxylic acid , a kind of omega-3 acid, helps within the event of retinal cells. It’s also thought to possess a task in reducing inflammation and helping cells of the retina and also the cornea heal and regenerate after damage due to light exposure and aging.
 Vitamin C: Several large studies show that vitamin reduces the prospect of getting some styles of cataracts. Two of these studies also found that a an Supplements Improve Eye Health and Vision.

Do you need supplements?
Diet must always be your primary source of vitamins and minerals. However, the National Eye Institute advises that the high doses found in AREDS2 can’t be obtained from diet alone.
Drink many water. Although recommendations vary by weight, adults should drink, roughly, between 1.5 liters (6 ¼ cups) and a couple of liters (8 1/3 cups) of fluid daily.
• Keep your eyes moist with artificial tears.
• Change your furnace or air conditioning filters regularly.
• Avoid environments with dusty or dirty air.

When must you see your doctor?
Consult your ophthalmologist before taking AREDS2. An ophthalmologist may be a doctor who focuses on eye health. Your doctor are going to be ready to determine if the supplements are going to be effective, given the status of your eye health.

Can I use supplements to enhance my eye health?

Your eyes and vision are plagued by many factors, including genetics and age. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating a diet that contains antioxidant-rich foods can contribute significantly to the health of your eyes.

Tips for eye health
• There are much stuff you can do to learn your eye health.
• Don’t smoke. Smoking damages blood vessels within the eyes and may cause cataracts, degeneration, and other sight problems.
• Protect your eyes from UV. Wear sunglasses when you’re outdoors and avoid staring directly into bright lights.
• Maintain a healthy weight and a vigorous lifestyle.
• After age 60, get a dilated eye exam annually

Friday, March 6, 2020


The Impact of Technology within the Blink of an eye fixed:

We are all aware of the technological improvements that have touched every a component of our lives, whether at domestic or at work. The tempo of exchange and also the evolution of how we use technology in our lives cannot be understated, as digital generation has find yourself a ordinary a part of our ordinary lives. As a matter of fact, 65% people spend 3 to nine hours daily on virtual gadgets. Even kids ages 8 to 18 spend 7 ½ hours daily the usage of a computer, watching TV, gambling video games or the employment of another virtual device.

What does regular use of digital technology mean to Eyes:

Well, it could all be summed up within the blink of an eye fixed. After we blink, it's our body’s manner to naturally clean the ocular surface of debris, and to guard our eyes. It’s also when fresh tears and also the necessary defensive oils are cover the ground of our eyes, making up a powerful tear movie is significant for defensive our eyes and maintaining them comfortable
The upward thrust of era and use of virtual devices has a profound effect on our eyes, with nearly 70% of adults experiencing eye pressure when using virtual devices. After we spend hours daily looking intently at digital screens, our blink rate slows and, in many cases, blinking will become limited. Thus, our eyes aren't certainly cleansed as regularly PRN, and also the ordinary replenishment of tears and oils vital for wholesome vision is notably limited. Additionally, other visual conditions or wearing contacts can probably dry out our eyes, causing sizeable soreness or eye stress.

Increased Susceptibility to Dry Eye Disease:

We need to any or all be aware of the improved susceptibility to eye sickness and damage which will get on my feet from observing screens. This is not always just with adults, but with children in addition. Since nearly everything we do nowadays revolves round the usage of digital devices, and that we do not have any doubt come to be a fanatical virtual society, we're blinking much less and visual issues are on the upward thrust, maximum significantly Dry disease. But, what maximum do now not recognize is that the leading motive of Dry disease is understood as tarsal gland Dysfunction (MGD), and virtual use is exacerbating its occurrence in adults, and youngsters in addition.

Remember, a healthy blink rate ensures that debris is cleared from our eye surface. After we blink less which suggests that debris can collect along our eye lids and block the openings of the little Meibomian glands in our lids. This might be largely resolved with regular lid cleaning and care.

On eye health:

Concerns regarding blue LEDs are related to the difference between the photopic flux and radiometric radiance. Photometry is worried with the study of human perception of sunshine, while radiometry is worried with the measurement of energy. At the outer edges of the range of sunshine perception, the number of energy as light required to register as a perception increases.