ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Ginkgo No Shield Against Alzheimer's
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
CANCER
Papaya Could Be a Cancer Fighter
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
CAREGIVING
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
Study of Everest Climbers Questions Oxygen Use
Mom's Smoking May Lead to SIDS
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Smog Tougher on the Obese
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
DASH Diet Has Extra Benefits for Women's Health
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
Air Pollution May Cause Appendicitis: Study Reveals
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
FITNESS
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Coffee Cuts Liver Scarring in Hepatitis C
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Exercise Eases Obesity and Anger in Kids
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
MENTAL HEALTH
Drink Away Dementia?
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Add your Article

Eye Test Could Spot Diabetes Vision Trouble Early

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- A new testing device may give doctors early warning of eye disease, especially vision trouble linked to diabetes, researchers say.

The device is able to capture images of the eye that reveal metabolic stress and tissue damage, even before the first signs and symptoms of disease appear, says a team at the University of Michigan. The technology measures a phenomenon called flavoprotein autofluorescence (FA), which is thought to be a reliable indicator of eye trouble.

"The concept behind measuring FA in the retina is to determine whether there's a metabolic dysfunction in the retinal tissue," explained lead researcher Dr. Victor M. Elner, a professor in the University's Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

"Our objective in performing this study was to determine whether we could detect abnormal metabolism in the retina of patients who otherwise would remain undiagnosed based on clinical examination alone," Elner added.

The report is published in the July issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

In the study, Elner's team measured FA levels in 21 people with diabetes and compared those results with data from people who did not have the disease.

People with diabetes had significantly higher levels of FA compared with nondiabetics, the researchers report. "The diabetics demonstrated consistently abnormal metabolism when compared to the control individuals without disease," Elner said.

His group also measured FA levels in patients with and without diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy, which can eventually lead to blindness, is a common complication of diabetes.

"Patients with retinopathy had significantly more abnormality to their readings than patients without retinopathy," Elner said. "This indicated that we can actually use the method to monitor the severity of the disease."

There are a number of advantages to FA testing, Elner said.

"FA testing is less invasive, rapid and gives a test result within five minutes," Elner said. "It compliments glucose tolerance testing in that it actually tells us about tissue dysfunction in the retina, which is indicative of how the whole body is doing."

In addition, because of its rapid, noninvasive nature, the new test can be used to screen patients at risk for a variety of different diseases, Elner said. "Diabetes is the best example of that because of the prevalence of the disease in our population. But the technique is also capable of screening other diseases such as glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration," he added.

Elner has a financial interest in this technology, and started a company to make it commercially available.

There are some 24 million Americans with diabetes and 57 million more who have pre-diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, 4.1 million people over 40 suffer from diabetic retinopathy.

More information

For more information on diabetes, visit the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.



SOURCES: Victor M. Elner, M.D., Ph.D., professor, department of ophthalmology and visual sciences, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor; July 2008 Archives of Ophthalmology

Last Updated: July 15, 2008

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