Saturday, June 25, 2011

Stuff I've learnt from Twitter!

I've been following the Foundation Fighting Blindness (@gihtblindness) on Twitter over the past few weeks. This weekend they have held Vision 2011 conference in the US. They have been updating their posts regularly and I have found out some interesting facts. The following are the tweets that I found really interesting:

1. "Q: animal trials - any reversal of vision loss 4 Stargardt? A: going that direction, but nothing yet showing definite restoration."
2. "Dr. Jacque Duncan (involved in retinal disease clinical trial) said that retinal degeneration is usually slow so it's hard to detect changes in 2-3 year studies."

3. "From Stem Cell session panel - Must easier to save retinal cells than replace them."

4. "Gen etc testing and thorough exams important because many diseases look alike.. Cone rod, Stargardt, Best Disease can look similar."

5. "About 50% of cone rod dystrophy caused by ABCA4 - same gene that causes majority of Stargardt disease."

4. A quote from John Wellner - "It's a great time in history to be blind; way better than the 1400's". You'd hope so!!
The link to the Foundation Fighting Blindness is below.

Foundation Fighting Blindness

They have a great wealth of information and are a great foundation so check it out.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A 4 year old could colour in better than me!

I spent my afternoon at work making some artistic labels for my folders, and decided to do some block writing with a highlighter border around the letters. To my horror, I couldn't see the lines I was trying to colour within! I drew the letters with difficulty then used my permanent marker to make them bold, and I was colouring in worse than I used to in kindergarten! I missed spots and went out of the lines and it looked terrible!  I then tried to colour around the letters in pink but found that wasn't working for me either. So instead I just coloured over the whole thing.

Luckily I saw the humour in the fact I can no longer colour anything in! Well not within the lines anyway! I laughed to myself for a while and was quite proud of my finished product after it made me feel as though I was cross eyed! If anybody asks, though, I might have to say my little cousin did t!

Everyday I find little things that have gotten harder to do, but in the scheme of things is it really a big deal if I can't colour in perfectly? Maybe I can be the new Picasso and take abstract to a whole new level!

Keep smiling everyone :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Update on the ACT embryonic stem cell trials

So we are all aware of the upcoming trials by Advanced Cell Technology to see whether Stargardt's and also Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration can be treated with embryonic stem cells. ACT released more information a few days ago about the upcoming trials involving 12 patients for each condition.

The phase of the study isn't actually testing whether using the stem cells will have any benefit, rather on the safety of using such technology.

The am of the treatment is to replace the malfunctioning RPE cells in the macular with functioning cells to halt the damage being done.

Hopefully the first phrase of the trials are successful and safe, with minimal harm being placed on the brave Stargardt's patients being involved.

Check out more information on the links below.

Red Orbit

UK Mail online

Google News