December 16, 2011

Nanoparticles Help Deliver Steroids to Retina

On July 15, 2011, I wrote a blog about the FDA asking for help in nanomedicine.  Now we are seeing the first research making an appearance in the area of eyesight. What an appropriate arena for this to happen.

Hitching a ride into the retina on nanoparticles called dendrimers offers a new way to treat age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. A study by investigators at Mayo Clinic, Wayne State University and Johns Hopkins Medicine shows that steroids attached to the dendrimers target the damage-causing cells associated with neuroinflammation, leaving the rest of the eye unaffected and preserving vision.”

Macular degeneration is the primary cause of vision loss in older Americans. According the National Institutes of Health this affects more than 7 million people. Retinitis pigmentosa results from many genetic conditions and affects about 1 in 4,000 Americans. There is presently no cure for these diseases and an effective treatment could offer hope to millions of patients around the world.

This research has been done in the rat model, but at least proved that it is possible. Expect to see clinical trials in the future and hopefully I will be able to blog about the results when it happens. Read the press release here.

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