All posts in Updated Retinal Bulletin

FDA Approves Telescope Implant for Age Related Macular Degeneration


To magnify images in eyes central blind spot that are blocked by disciform scars from wet age related macular degeneration or geographic atrophy caused by dry age related macular degeneration.


  • Patient must be 75 years old or older.
  • Severe vision impairment in both eyes secondary to the end stage of age related macular degeneration.
  • Can not have had cataract surgery.


Medicare does not cover this.

Additional Aspects

Patients must receive post-surgical rehabilitation with low-vision specialist. Meeting with the patients requires more time and patience than many physicians are accustomed to spending.


Acknowledgement of Our Research on Retinal Transplantation

Paul S. Baker, M.D., and Gary C. Brown from the Retina Service, Wills Eye Institute, Jefferson Medical College, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, wrote an article “Stem-cell therapy in retinal disease” for Current Opinion in Ophthalmology 2009; 20:175-181. They stated on page 178 of the article:

Although some studies were unable to demonstrate any positive effect on vision, other patients transplanted with fetal retinal sheets showed improved visual acuity over time (up to 6 years) [57**, 58].

The unprecedented double starring of our article in the reference meant “of outstanding interest.”


References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published within the annual period of review, have been highlighted as:
*of special interest
**of outstanding interest

Additional references related to this topic can also be found in the Current World Literature section in this issue (p. 226).

Radtke ND, Aramant RB, Petry HM, et al. Vision improvement in retinal degeneration patients by implantation of retina together with retinal pigment epithelium. Am J Ophthalmol 2008; 146:172-182.

This study demonstrates the safety and clinical benefit of retina RPE grafts in human subjects with retinal degeneration. Visual improvement was observed in seven of ten patients (three retinitis pigmentosa and four AMD).

Radtke ND, Aramant RB, Seiler MJ, et al. Vision change after sheet transplant of fetal retina with retinal pigment epithelium to a patient with retinitis pigmentosa. Arch Ophthalmol 2004; 122:1159-1165.

We were honored that our work received such recognition from these esteemed professors.


Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

Treatment for patients with central retinal artery occlusions or branch retinal artery occlusions with Hyperbaric Oxygen is successful if patient is treated within 48 hours.

This treatment is available at Norton Audubon Hospital. Roberto Penne-Casanova, M.D. has been trained in the U.S. Air Force and appointments can be made by calling 502-636-8380. At this time the facility is only staffed Mondays, 8am-12pm, Tuesdays, 8am-12pm and Thursdays, 7:30am-4pm.


CATT Trial

After a one year delay the CATT Trial will begin recruiting patients in January 2008. It will have two primary purposes:

  • Compare the safety and efficiency of Lucentis and Avastin
  • Determine whether or not as-needed dosing can produce a visual result that is as robust as what has previously been demonstrated with fixed dosing

The study chairman is David F. Martin, M. D., at Emory University.


Promising Results with Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Dietary intake of Lutein/Zeaxanthin is independently associated with decreased likelihood of neovascular AMD, geographic atrophy and large or extensive intermediate drusen in AREDS report No. 22.

If these cross-sectional results can be confirmed in prospective samples and experimental studies Lutein and Zeaxanthin may be considered an useful agent in food or supplement-based interventions designed to reduce the risk of AMD.



TruSopt (dorzolamide) reduces cystoid macular edema in patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa.
Gerald Fishman, M.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, demonstrated that all patients in his study showed a significant reduction in swelling in at least one eye after using TruSopt three times a day for one to two months. Results of the study were published in the January 10, 2007, issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology.



POT-4 is a derivative of Compstatin, a peptide that inhibits complement activation. Complement activation plays a significant role in the cause of AMD. POT-4 is initially being developed for treatment of AMD. Potentia Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is beginning Phase I clinical trials in Tucson and Miami.


Nutrition for the Well-Being of the Eye

Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to increase the general sense of well-being and promote high health. They are present in fish and are highest in mackerel, white fish, tuna, and salmon.

Zinc has a specific role in the normal functioning of photoreceptors in the eye. Zinc is found in high protein foods such as beef, pork, and whole grain cereals.

Recently, it has been suggested that the carotenoids, Lutein (pronounced loo-teen) and Zeaxanthin (pronounced zee-uh-zan-thin) play an important role in eye health.

In the Eye Disease Case Control Study, medical researchers found that individuals experienced a significantly lower risk for developing age related macular degeneration when they had high amounts of Lutein and Zeaxanthin in their blood.

Sources of Lutein include yellow peppers, mango, blueberries, and green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, chard, and broccoli. Sources of Zeaxanthin include orange sweet peppers, broccoli, corn, lettuce, spinach, tangerines, oranges, and eggs.