DIABETIC EYE DISEASE
ANCHOR LEAD: AN EYE TREATMENT FOR ONE TYPE OF EYE DISEASE ALSO WORKS WELL FOR THOSE WITH EYE DISEASE DUE TO DIABETES, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Lucentis is the brand name of a blockbuster drug for Genentech, used to treat macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness as people age. Now a Johns Hopkins study led by Neil Bressler has shown that this medication is also helpful to those who develop an eye condition related to diabetes known as diabetic macular edema, which can also result in blindness.
BRESSLER: The major impact, we found, with this new medication ranibizumab, which goes by the trade name Lucentis, was found to remarkably get rid of that swelling so that about 50% of people had substantial improvement of their vision and this was far superior to our current treatments, which were limited to using laser to treat this swelling, which worked well, about 28% of the people had substantial improvement but now we had fifty percent. :28
Bressler says the majority of blindness related to both conditions can now be largely prevented. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.