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According to a new study from the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, a new, non-invasive ocular imaging method may be able to detect early signs of glaucoma in time to prevent progression. before disease and loss of vision.

A new, non-invasive method may be able to detect early signs of glaucoma in time to prevent disease progression and vision loss, according to a new study from the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE).1

According to a news release from the Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the study was published in the July / August issue of Ophthalmology Glaucoma.

The publication stated that the study focused on measuring flavoprotein fluorescence (FPF) in the eye. Mitochondria—responsible for generating energy in cells—produce FPF when they are stressed, and FPF levels increase in people with glaucoma when compared to those with normal eyes. Mitochondrial dysfunction in the optic nerve, which sends light signals to the brain and is important for vision, eventually results in the loss of cells and tissue, causing many eye diseases to occur. such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, as well as other retinal disorders.

According to the published articles, this is the first study to look at changes in the FPF in the optic nerve in patients with different stages of glaucoma compared to healthy eyes.

Richard B. Rosen, MD, vice chairman and director of Ophthalmology Research at NYEE and director of the Retina Service for the Mount Sinai Health System, said in a news release that early detection of glaucoma is difficult, and that Doctors often struggle to prove it. subtle signs of progression to higher levels.

“Once damage to the optic nerve occurs, it cannot be reversed,” he said in a statement. “The better we detect early or ongoing damage, the more aggressive we can be in implementing preventative treatments.”

In addition, Rosen stated in the news release that the study “shows that FPF may be useful as a measure for predicting the progression of glaucoma rather than measuring the damage to the structure, with the same sensitivity to changes in visibility but easier and better all the time.”

According to the news release, the researchers used the OcuMet Beacon—a camera with special filters to specifically isolate fluorescence, developed by OcuSciences Inc.—to evaluate 86 eyes. Fifty of the eyes were diagnosed with glaucoma, based on the thinness of the retinal fibers, and 36 had no disease. They found that FPF, a marker of mitochondrial oxidative stress, is significantly higher in glaucoma eyes compared to normal eyes, especially in the early stages of glaucoma where damage is difficult to detect. FPF levels are combined with other methods of diagnosing glaucoma including visual acuity, which means a different, visual field. visual acuity, and the thickness of the optic fiber.

The news release stated that the results suggest that the FPF can be used clinically to reliably and accurately diagnose glaucoma lesions, limiting the need for routine eye exams, the gold standard for measuring glaucoma. visual work. In fact, the researchers say, FPF may be a more accurate measure, because visual perception has many errors – it is subjective, variable with the patient’s mind, and people can Patients lost control during this study.

Rosen said in the announcement that previous studies have shown that when mitochondrial oxidative stress is relieved by drugs or surgery, the level of flavoprotein fluorescence goes down.

“This is a very interesting technique as a sensitive way to monitor response to treatment,” Rosen said. “This measure can be used as an early indicator to monitor the progress of glaucoma for the patient and the doctor.”

According to the researchers, their next step is to see if the FPF can effectively monitor the effect of treatment for glaucoma patients, to see if the risk of progression to higher levels is reduced, as also identifying patients who need immediate glaucoma treatment.

Davis B. Zhou, MD, Maria V. Castanos, MD, Lawrence Geyman, MD, Apichat Tantraworasin, MD, PhD, Robert Ritch, MD, Richard B. Rosen, MD; Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Primary Open-angle Glaucoma Characterized by Flavoprotein Fluorescence in the Optic Nerve Head, Ophthalmology Glaucoma; published July 2022;

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