Researchers are currently testing new eyedrops that have the potential in preventing vision loss from retinal vein occlusion. The team at Columbia University Irving Medical Center published their findings in Nature Communications.

Retinal vein occlusion occurs when a blood clot blocks a vein that carries blood away from the retina. It commonly occurs in diabetic patients as well as people with high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels.

Current treatment involves intravitreal injections but they only slow the inevitable loss of vision. The new eye drops target caspase-9 which is an enzyme that is thought to be involved in cell death. Researchers discovered in the study that involved mice that caspase-9 is uncontrollably activated when veins are damaged by retinal vein occlusion.

The eyedrops contain a caspase-9 inhibitor that minimizes swelling, improves blood circulation and decreases neuronal damage within the retina. A Stage 1 Clinical Trial is the next step in testing the eye drops. Study participants who have retinal vein occlusion will be evaluated.


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