Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Repairing optic nerve?

In a recent study, Stanford scientists were able to coax cells in damaged optic nerve to re-grow towards the brain, 200 out of 50,000 damaged cells (here). It was a combination of gene therapy and high-contrast visual stimulation.

Application to glaucomatous humans? A long shot at best.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

"Flower" cataracts?

"After a bicycle accident injured one of his eyes, a 30-year-old man in India developed an unusual flower-shaped cataract, according to a new report of his case.

"...it's still not clear why these opaque regions take on certain shapes..."

But this is a case of sutural cataracts, of traumatic origin. No mysteries here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

X-ray vision

"A group of researchers led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Dina Katabi has developed software that uses variations in radio signals to recognize human silhouettes through walls and track their movements."

This is based on disturbance to wifi field that can be detected with a smartphone.


Monday, November 30, 2015

Ocular Ebola

Surprisingly,  Ebola virus lingers in the eye - more precisely, in the aqueous humor, most likely released from surrounding tissues.

Two cases in the US are now documented:

",,,But about two weeks after he was released from the hospital, [Richard] Sacra reported vision loss, pain, redness and sensitivity to light in his left eye. An examination showed a slight swelling of his cornea, and there were white blood cells in the space between the outer covering and the iris in his eye, the report said. Sacra was given a topical corticosteroid to apply to his eye every hour while he was awake.

"But Sacra's vision worsened, and he was given an oral corticosteroid, called prednisone. Within a week, his condition improved, and by March 2015, he had no symptoms and had 20-20 vision, the report said."

"Another American Ebola survivor, Dr. Ian Crozier, also had serious eye problems after he was declared Ebola-free, including blurry vision, pain and pressure in his left eye. At one point, his eye even changed color, from blue to green."

Thursday, July 23, 2015


News today: "...scientists analyzed the genes of two related families that both often suffered cataracts from birth.

"The researchers discovered that these families carried mutations in a gene involved in manufacturing a small molecule known as lanosterol. Normal versions of lanosterol in healthy eyes help prevent the kind of protein clumping that leads to cataracts, while the abnormal version seen in both families did not.

"To examine what effects lanosterol might have on cataracts, scientists experimented on dogs with naturally occurring cataracts.

"After six weeks of treatment with lanosterol eyedrops, lens cloudiness and cataract size decreased in the dogs. Similar results were seen in experiments with human lens cells and rabbit lenses on lab dishes. "

Too good to be true? Perhaps. Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


Prosopometamorphopsia: a psychiatric condition that affects perception of faces.

A 52-year-old woman whose rare condition was reported in The Lancet suffered from hallucinations that caused her to see human faces as dragons.

The unidentified patient’s hallucinations were brought under control after she was prescribed rivastigmine, an anti-dementia medication.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Too much Vitamin A?

Yahoo Health 4/21/2015: "Warning: Too Many Dietary Supplements May Increase Cancer Risk"

"One trial showed that taking more than the required amounts of beta-carotene— which is known for its ability to improve immunity and enhance vision — in supplement form increased the risk for developing both lung cancer and heart disease by 20 percent."

“More specifically, taking more than the recommended daily allowance of folic acid, Vitamin E and beta-carotene were all shown to increase cancer risk.”

"If you take vitamins or other dietary supplements, choose products that stay within the recommended daily allowance.”