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6 things you need to know: Genetic markers for glaucoma identified


The latest news and research you need to know about this week.

Researchers discover five genetic markers for glaucoma

Researchers recently identified five previously unknown genetic markers that are linked to an increased risk for primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG), according to a study published in Nature.

The study examined the genetic makeup of more than 40,000 people— 10,503 cases of PACG and 29,567 controls—from 24 countries across Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.

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After meta-analysis of all patient collections, researchers identified the following new genetic loci, or specific locations of a gene, as causing an increased risk for PACG:

• EPDR1 rs3816415

• CHAT rs1258267

• GLIS3 rs736893
• FERMT2 rs7494379

• DPM2–FAM102A rs3739821

Researchers say the study also confirmed significant association at three previously described loci:


̢ۢ COL11A1


â€Å“I think genetic testing will come into play in many diseases, including glaucoma,â€Â says Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member Ben Casella, OD, FAAO. â€Å“As the human genome project continues to teach us—and cost of gene sequencing continues to decrease due to advances in biotechnology and competition among companies— genetic testing will become ever more commonplace in eye care and all of health care.â€Â

Next: How Vitamin D affects AMD


How Vitamin D affects AMD

A study published in Marturitas found that Vitamin D may help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

According to the authors, Vitamin D may be involved in ocular function in older adults, but there is no current consensus on a possible association between circulating concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) and the occurrence of AMD.

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Researchers conducted a Medline search in November 2015, with no date limit, using the terms:

̢ۢ Vitamin D

̢ۢ Vitamin D deficiency

̢ۢ Ergocalciferols

̢ۢ Cholecalciferol combined with age-related macular degeneration

̢ۢ Macular degeneration

̢ۢ Retinal degeneration

̢ۢ Macula lutea

̢ۢ Retina

Researchers say fixed and random-effects meta-analyses were performed to compute standard mean difference in 25OHD concentration between AMD and non-AMD patients and to identify the AMD risk according to circulating 25OHD concentration. Of the 243 retrieved studies, 11 observational studies—10 cross-sectional studies and one cohort study—met the selection criteria.

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The study found that circulating 25OHD concentration was 15 percent lower in AMD compared with non-AMD on average. AMD was inversely associated with the highest 25OHD quintile compared with the, notably late AMD.

Researchers concluded that high 25OHD concentrations may be protective against AMD.

Next: Disquafosol improves dryness symptoms for contact lens wearers


Disquafosol improves dryness symptoms for contact lens wearers

A study evaluating the efficacy of topical application of 3% diquafosol tetrasodium solution for the treatment of soft contact lens wearers with dryness found the solution improved biomarker of membrane-associated mucins, tear film break-up time (TBUT), staining of cornea and conjunctiva, and subjective symptoms.

In addition to clinical tests and subjective symptoms, researchers assessed the fluorescence intensity of wheat germ agglutinin conjugate of fluorescein (F-WGA) used as a marker of membrane-associated mucins and sialic acid concentration in tear fluids as a marker of secreted mucins.

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Researchers treated for four weeks 12 soft contact lens wearers with dryness symptoms with diquafosol. Clinical tests included TBUT, corneal and conjunctival fluorescein staining scores, and Schirmer values. Researchers evaluated subjective symptoms using the Dry Eye-Related Quality-of-Life Score (DEQS).

Fluorescence intensities in the central cornea were measured by fluorophotometry at five minutes after a 5% F-WGA solution was applied to the eye. The tears collected by the Schirmer test strips were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography, and the concentrations of sialic acid, total protein, and the four major tear proteins secretory IgA, lactoferrin, lipocalin-1, and lysozyme proteins were measured.

The study found that comparing the results before and after diquafosol treatment, TBUT, kerato-conjunctival staining score, corneal staining score, and DEQS score showed statistically significant improvements. The study also found that F-WGA fluorescence intensities significantly increased after treatment, whereas the concentrations of sialic acid and tear proteins remained unchanged.

Next: Allergan announces positive pivotal trial results for Oculeve Intranasal Tear Neurostimulator


Allergan announces positive pivotal trial results for Oculeve Intranasal Tear Neurostimulator

Dublin—Allergan announced that two pivotal trials of the Oculeve Intranasal Tear Neurostimulator, OCUN-009 and OCUN-010, each met their primary and secondary efficacy endpoints. With these new results, a premarket submission for the device is on-track to be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the second half of 2016. 

This handheld stimulator and daily disposable tips increases tear production upon stimulation in patients with dry eye disease due to decreased tear production. Several Oculeve Intranasal Tear Neurostimulator clinical studies with more than 200 adult patients show positive safety and efficacy of the device.

The OCUN-009 study is a prospective, randomized, controlled, double-masked, multicenter, cross-over trial in which participants used an active device and two control applications. The primary effectiveness endpoint of increased tear production over basal during intranasal application as measured by Schirmer score compared to both controls was met.

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The OCUN-010 study design is a prospective, single-arm, multicenter, open-label clinical trial in which participants used the Oculeve Intranasal Tear Neurostimulator to stimulate tear production for 180 days. The primary effectiveness endpoint of increased tear production as measured by Schirmer score during application of the device compared with basal Schirmer score at Day 180 was met. Secondary endpoints of increased tear production as measured by Schirmer score during application of the device compared with basal Schirmer score at Days 0, 7, 30, and 90 were also met.

All device-related adverse events were mild in nature. There were no device-related serious adverse events, and no patients discontinued treatment due to adverse events.

Next: TearScience releases LipiScan for rapid HD meibomian imaging


TearScience releases LipiScan for rapid HD meibomian imaging

Morrisville, NC—TearScience has released LipiScan, the first dedicated high definition (HD) gland imager that allows eyecare professionals (ECPs) to efficiently evaluate meibomian glands.

The new rapid imager was created with end users in mind. LipiScan incorporates patented dynamic meibomian imaging (DMI) technology to produce HD images of meibomian glands. LipiScan allows ECPs to assess meibomian gland structure during routine workups in any practice setting.


I-MED Pharma introduces new tear osmolarity device

Montreal—I-MED Pharma has launched i-Pen, a hand-held device designed for a measurement of tear osmolarity.

I-MED Pharma Vice President Daniel Hofmann estimates that the company̢۪s business model will allow clinicians to recover their capital costs with fewer than 40 patients.

He anticipates that the i-Pen will be submitted to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016 and that it will not require a CLIA waiver.


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