Tuesday March 26, 2019

New Drug Offers Treatment For Diabetes-Related Blindness

The researchers now plan to conduct a full-scale clinical trial, Gamble said

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New drug offers hope for diabetes-related blindness.

In a major breakthrough, Australian scientists have developed a new drug that offers treatment for people suffering from diabetic retinopathy — the main cause of blindness from diabetes.

The debilitating disease occurs when tiny blood vessels in the retina, responsible for detecting light, leak fluid or haemorrhage.

While treatment options include laser surgery or eye injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), they are not always effective or can result in side effects, highlighting the need for alternative therapeutic approaches.

The team from the Centenary Institute in Sydney developed a novel drug CD5-2, which in mouse models was found to mend the damaged blood retinal barrier and reduce vascular leakage.

“We believe CD5-2 could potentially be used as a stand-alone therapy to treat those patients who fail to respond to the anti-VEGF treatment. It may also work in conjunction with existing anti-VEGF treatments to extend the effectiveness of the treatment,” said lead author Ka Ka Ting from the Institute.

“With limited treatment options currently available, it is critical we develop alternative strategies for the treatment of this outcome of diabetes,” Ting added.

Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

The key process involved in diabetic retinopathy pathology is the breakdown of the blood-retinal barrier (BRB), which is normally impermeable. Its integrity relies on how well capillary endothelial cells are bound together by tight junctions. If the junctions are loose or damaged, the blood vessels can leak.

In the study, reported in the journal Diabetologia, CD5-2 was found to have therapeutic potential for individuals with vascular-leak-associated retinal diseases based on its ease of delivery and its ability to reverse vascular dysfunction as well as inflammatory aspects in animal models of retinopathy.

Previous studies have shown that CD5-2 can have positive effects on the growth of blood vessels.

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“This drug has shown great promise for the treatment of several major health problems, in the eye and in the brain,” said Professor Jenny Gamble, head of Centenary’s Vascular Biology Programme.

The researchers now plan to conduct a full-scale clinical trial, Gamble said. (IANS)

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Cardiovascular Events Cause 58% Deaths Among Diabetics

The medicine likewise helps lower the amount of sodium in the body and reduce triglyceride levels and blood pressure

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Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

Fifty-eight percent of deaths among people with type 2 diabetes are due to cardiovascular events, a leading Mexican expert has said.

“Patients who live with this disease have a greater risk of premature death or disability derived from cardiovascular events,” Hector Sanchez Mijangos, President of the Mexican Diabetes Federation, told Efe news.

The specialist said that the high glucose levels associated with diabetes damage blood vessels, resulting in problems with blood pressure and vision, joint pain and other maladies.

Data from the World Health Organization indicate that more 442 million people suffer from type 2 diabetes.

Mexico’s Health Secretariat has found that while roughly 13 million inhabitants of the Aztec nation are living with diabetes, only half of those afflicted know they have the disease.

In 2015 alone, according to Mijangos, there were more than 98,000 premature deaths in Mexico related to diabetes and the average age of those who died was 66.7 years old.

Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

“This is regrettable, because these people could have lived roughly another 15 years,” he said.

According to the 2012 National Health and Nutrition Survey, only 25 percent of Mexicans suffering with diabetes are managing their condition adequately.

That figure illustrates “why our greatest challenge continues to be access and adherence to treatment”, Mijangos said.

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To improve treatment options, Mexican health authorities in January issued an approval for the use of canagliflozin, a drug that helps reduce the amount of blood glucose reabsorbed by the kidneys, which in turns causes more glucose to be eliminated through urination.

“With this medicine, a person can lose 100 milligrams of glucose per day as well as about 400 kilocalories (4,000 calories) a day, which also helps with weight loss,” Mijangos said.

The medicine likewise helps lower the amount of sodium in the body and reduce triglyceride levels and blood pressure.

A scientific trial involving more than 10,000 patients worldwide showed that when combined with conventional treatment, canagliflozin can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events by up to 18 percent. (IANS)