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November 16, 2017

Seeing AI Now Available Outside of U.S.

Posted in: Latest News

We announced here in July that Microsoft had released Seeing AI,  a free app that harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to audibly read text, identify objects, and describe people. The app was originally available only in the United States, but it is now also in the British, Irish and Australian App stores. It is still available only for iOS devices
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November 11, 2017

Brolucizimab May Be the Next Treatment Option for Wet AMD

Posted in: Latest News, Research and Developments

Swiss drugmaker Novartis has announced that their new anti-VEGF drug, brolucizumab (RTH258), is meeting expectations as a potentially more effective and longer lasting treatment for wet macular degeneration than at least one of the current options. Positive results from two Phase III studies of brolucizumab versus aflibercept (Eylea) were presented at the American Academy of
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October 24, 2017

New Sub-retinal Implant For Dry AMD Entering Trials

Posted in: Latest News, Research and Developments

(Updated January 2018) Alongside research to find ways of restoring vision through stem cell therapy and gene therapy, attempts are being made to restore vision electronically by means of bionic implants. In past reports, we have described the ARGUS-2, which has shown success in providing a basic pixelated sense of sight to the totally blind.
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October 24, 2017

“I’m Visually Impaired, But . . .”

Posted in: Daily Living, Health and Nutrition, Latest News

by Dan Roberts As we age, we face a number of challenges not enjoyed by the young. It seems like every day brings another condition that makes us wonder, “Is this the Big One that’s going to do me in?” Fortunately, most of these conditions are temporary, rearing their heads only to warn us that
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October 15, 2017

Some AMD Patients Still Foresee Dismal Futures

Posted in: Daily Living, Latest News, Low Vision Rehabilitation

by Dan Roberts An empirical investigation* recently published in BMC Geriatrics suggests that patients being treated for the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (wAMD) expect to be worse off than the general population, even though they expect to live as long. Specifically, they look forward to a more significant deterioration of health with age,
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September 16, 2017

Can Retinal Degenerative Diseases Cause Headaches?

Posted in: Therapies, Treatments, and Procedures

by Dan Roberts Retinal diseases are not, in themselves, painful. Prolonged ultra-close viewing, however, is often practiced by people with visual impairment. That can cause headaches of the type reported by some members of our low vision community. Generally referred to as eye strain, such discomfort may be caused by stress on the large medial
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September 9, 2017

Lampalizumab for Dry AMD Unable to Meet Expectations in Phase III Trial

Posted in: Latest News, Research and Developments

Genentech has announced that the primary endpoint has not been met in Spectri, the first of two Phase III studies evaluating the safety and efficacy of lampalizumab. Lampalizumab, as reported here in July 2016, is an investigational medicine for the treatment of geographic atrophy (GA) due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It was designed to inhibit Complement Factor D,
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September 1, 2017

Patient Assistance Survey – The Patient Access Network Needs Your Help!

Posted in: Latest News

 The Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation is hosting a survey about patient assistance.  The PAN Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that helps people living with life-threatening, chronic and rare diseases pay for the out-of-pocket costs of their prescription medications. Prevent Blindness has been working with PAN for some time to provide patients with education
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August 29, 2017

All Avenues Need To Be Considered For Improving Vision

Posted in: Latest News, Research and Developments

Presbyopia and cataracts are the most prevalent vision-robbing conditions older people. A paper soon to be published in The Lancet (Volume 5, No. 9, e888–e897, September 2017) estimates that, in 2015, 36 million people in the world were blind and 217 million people were severely or moderately vision impaired. It also estimated that 1.1 billion
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August 25, 2017

Promising Update on APL-2 for Dry AMD

Posted in: Latest News, Research and Developments

Statistically Significant Slowing of Disease Progression Seen at 12 Months APL-2 is a synthetic peptide which shuts down the complement activation system responsible for local inflammation, tissue damage (as in dry AMD) and the resulting blood vessel growth (angiogenesis in wet AMD). Discovered by Professor John Lambris, University of Pennsylvania, APL-2 (formerly called POT-4) was
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July 24, 2017

Safely viewing a solar eclipse

Posted in: Latest News

Important information from the National Eye Institute  A solar eclipse will be visible across North America for 2 to 3 hours on Monday, August 21, 2017. Watching the moon slowly block out the sun is a rare opportunity but should be attempted with caution. “Never look directly at the sun or an eclipse! The sun’s rays
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July 22, 2017

Can We Trust Clinical Trials?

Posted in: Latest News, Research and Developments

An analysis published July 19 in Regenerative Medicine reminds us to be cautious about believing everything we read regarding clinical trials. A good case in point is our earlier report about three women who were blinded by an unproven stem cell treatment at a Florida clinic in 2015. They had been misled primarily by thinking that simply
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July 15, 2017

New App for iOS Reads Text and Describes the World

Posted in: Latest News

Microsoft has released a free app using amazing new technology to assist blind people. It’s called Seeing AI: Talking camera for the blind. The app harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to narrate the world around the user by describing nearby people, text and objects. Once it is downloaded, the user simply points the device’s camera at
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July 6, 2017

Forgetfulness Can Actually Be Good For Us

Posted in: Latest News, Research and Developments

by Dan Roberts Research published in the June 2017 issue of the journal Neuron (1) suggests that loss of details in our memories may be beneficial to those of us who are visually impaired. Vision is eyesight, memory and logic working together. (2) Visually impaired individuals learn from experience that when eyesight is less clear,
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June 29, 2017

Anti-VEGF Treatment Should Not Be Expected to Improve Vision

Posted in: Latest News, Therapies, Treatments, and Procedures

Clearing up a misunderstanding Anti-VEGF drugs for treating wet age-related macular degeneration are highly successful at inhibiting neovascularization, but they are limited to that alone. Clinical trials for Lucentis (ranibizumab) and Eylea (aflibercept) are showing better than 90% success at blocking the growth factors responsible for uncontrolled blood vessel growth into the retina, and off-label
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