June 8, 2015 – Diabetic Eye Disease


Anchor lead: There is new hope for one type of advanced diabetic eye disease, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Eye disease is one of the consequences of diabetes, and when it is advanced and new blood vessels form in the area of the eye known as the retina, blindness can result from so-called proliferative diabetic retinopathy.  Now Akrit Sodhi, an ophthalmologist at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, have found a new factor in addition to one called VEGF that’s involved, and that may be a target for blockade.

Sodhi: Current therapies treating proliferative diabetic retinopathy relied on burning the retina in order to reduce the production of factors that are secreted that cause these blood vessels to grow.  If we block one of those factors, a factor that’s called vascular endothelial growth factor we can very effectively treat many eye diseases and there was the hope that we could effectively treat proliferative diabetic retinopathy.    :27

Sodhi’s strategy relies on blocking both VEGF and the new factor, known as angiopoietin-like 4. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.