OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – “We’re excited about this approach because it can take an already diseased eye and try to reverse it so that you could potentially see again,” said Dr. Courtney Griffin a member in cardiovascular biology research program at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
Vision loss plagues millions of Americans each year.
Right here in the Sooner State, a team of researchers is working to fight it.
“Sometimes in diseased states you can make too many blood vessels, and if this occurs in the eye it can block vision because it blocks the light from getting through your eye so that you can see,” said Dr. Griffin.
OMRF tested a drug on vision-impaired mice to see if it could clear up those bad blood vessels that harm your vision and leave behind the others.
“Happily, it just got rid of the bad blood vessels the ones that are very tangled up and malformed and they have very slow blood flow in them,” said Dr. Griffin.
She says current treatments try to stop vision loss before it happens.
This new method would help reverse it after the fact, especially in those most vulnerable like premature babies and adults with diabetes.
“If you already have those diseases and the blood vessels are already blocking your vision it’s kind of too late for you to prevent further growth,” she said.
It could go beyond eyesight.
Down the road, researchers are excited about the potential this drug could have fighting tumors with the same ‘bad blood vessels.’
“If this can help alleviate diseases where there are too many vessels in different parts of the body that would be great news,” said Dr. Griffin.
Learn more about the OMRF vision loss study on their website.
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