After fighting diabetes for almost 40 years, Lowe has grown diabetic retinopathy, a result of uncontrolled diabetes that may damage small arteries and is the leading source of blindness among working age adults. A research worker across campus in the practice is looking in another manner of possibly blocking the inflammation which may lead by way of a possible new drug to that particular damage.
While that effect was understood for a while "it isn't a thing that researchers had focused on before," she said.
The hope would be to prevent the "obstacle disruption" to the cells that will induce them to become leaky and create inflammation, an early hallmark of the disorder.
The mouse version enables Sharma to examine the compound in both late and early phases of the illness to determine whether it she can "prevent diabetic retinopathy from occurring," she said. Individually, the compound has been tested in human clinical trials in rheumatoid arthritis, which can also be assuring, Sharma said.
"I am more excited because I 'm repurposing this drug," she said. "I 'm not striving to produce a fresh drug."
Augusta University has translational plans to test and bring those promising research ideas to the practice but that possibility is, said chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, Nussbaum.
The emphasis on prevention of diabetic eye disease begins with routine care of the disorder, he explained.
"Primary care doctors now are more keyed to the fact their patients that have diabetes have to have a yearly eye screening," Nussbaum said. "The the more time you have diabetes, the more the chance you happen to be likely to develop damage."
Since the first stages of the disorder do not have symptoms, most patients do not understand until eyesight is changed, there's an issue.
"The trouble can it be is sometimes a surprising change in vision but it's a disorder that is going on for so long," Nussbaum said.
In the instance of Lowe, it's a little membrane that formed on the retina in his left eye's surface which will be causing him to lose some vision. Lowe said he believed he might be developing a cataract.
Nussbaum told him that the portion of the difficulty with leaky blood vessels has stabilized from earlier treatments, after looking over his scans.
"You're doing really really well, as far as that's concerned. The problem is that this membrane in the left eye, which has reduced your eyesight."
Lowe said he's doing to prevent it, although the alternative will be surgery to eliminate it. Lowe does not seem positive although Nussbaum encouraged him to get his diabetes under control. The truth is, he says, he's surprised to have lived as long as he's so far.
"In my loved ones, on my mom's side, everybody has diabetes," Lowe said at eye pain forum.