New treatment options, better hope of preventing vision loss from diabetes

 

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness. An advanced stage, called proliferative diabetic retinopathy, occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow near the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. These new vessels can leak blood, which can obscure vision and damage the retina. Lucentis is one of several drugs called VEGF inhibitors that can block this process.

In the new study, Lucentis was compared to scatter laser therapy (or panretinal photocoagulation), which has been the standard treatment for proliferative diabetic retinopathy since the 1970s. Although laser therapy is effective in improving central vision, it can cause decreased night and side vision. The study found that Lucentis produced more improvement in central vision and little change in side vision when compared to laser therapy.

Blood sample new way of detecting cancer

A new RNA test of blood platelets can be used to detect, classify and pinpoint the location of cancer by analysing a sample equivalent to one drop of blood. Using this new method for blood-based RNA tests of blood platelets, researchers have been able to identify cancer with 96 per cent accuracy. This according to a study.

"Being able to detect cancer at an early stage is vital. We have studied how a whole new blood-based method of biopsy can be used to detect cancer, which in the future renders an invasive cell tissue sample unnecessary in diagnosing lung cancer, for instance. In the study, nearly all forms of cancer were identified, which proves that blood-based biopsies have an immense potential to improve early detection of cancer," according to Jonas Nilsson, cancer researcher.

In the study, researchers have investigated how a new method of blood-based RNA tests of the part of the blood called platelets could be used in detecting and classifying cancer.

The results show that blood platelets could constitute a complete and easily accessible blood-based source for sampling and hence be used in diagnosing cancer as well as in the choice of treatment method.

Scientists find key to malaria growth

The key to malaria's rampant growth has been explained by scientists.

They say it is down to protein molecules called cyclins which cause cells to divide rapidly in the malaria parasite.

The study, led by a team from the University of Nottingham, could lead to new treatments for malaria, the researchers said.

Malaria is responsible for nearly half a million deaths a year, according to BBC.

Competing bacteria in gut maintain health

Competition between different bacteria species in the gut is what keeps humans healthy, a study has suggested.

The research, uses mathematical theory to suggest how microbes in the gut maintain stability.

Scientists previously thought bacteria were cooperating, but the study suggests competition between them makes for good health.

Prof Kevin Foster said bacteria acted like "trees competing in a jungle".

Vitamin D pill a day may improve exercise performance and lower risk of heart disease

Taking vitamin D supplements can improve exercise performance and lower the risk of heart disease, according to the findings of a preliminary study.

Vitamin D, which is both a vitamin and a hormone, helps control levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood and is essential for the formation of bones and teeth. Sources of Vitamin D include oily fish and eggs, but it can be difficult to get enough through diet alone. Most people generate vitamin D by exposing their skin to ultraviolet B rays in sunlight.