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American Academy of Ophthalmology, Oct. 22-25, 2011

Last Updated: October 28, 2011.

The 115th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology was held from Oct. 22 to 25 in Orlando, Fla., and attracted approximately 6,000 participants from around the world, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, and other eye health care professionals. The conference featured presentations that focused on the latest advances in comprehensive eye care, including medical, surgical, and optical care.

In the Controlled Phase 3 Evaluation of Repeated intravitreal administration of VEGF Trap-Eye in Central retinal vein occlusion: Utility and Safety (COPERNICUS) study, Julia Haller, M.D., of the Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia, and colleagues found that 56.1 percent of patients with retinal vein occlusion treated with VEGF Trap-Eye gained three or more lines of vision at six months. This result held over the next six months, with a mean of only three more injections and 55.3 percent of eyes at 12 months having three or more lines of visual acuity gain.

"We presented the one-year results evaluating the effectiveness of VEGF Trap-Eye. We randomized patients to monthly injections with VEGF Trap-Eye or sham treatment. After six months of treatment, patients on sham treatment were crossed over to active treatment with VEGF Trap-Eye, and patients on active treatment were then moved to as-needed protocol," Haller said. "There were no safety concerns identified and, in fact, serious adverse events in the VEGF Trap-Eye treated patients were less common than in the sham treated eyes."

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In another study, Fabrizio Camesasca, M.D., of the Istituto Clinico Humanitas in Milan, Italy, and colleagues found that collagen cross-linking was an effective treatment for progressive keratoconus when applied to both children and adults.

"We evaluated 660 patients, aged 9 to 67 years, with progressive keratoconus and found that collagen cross-linking stopped progression of the disease and significantly improved visual acuity, with patients remaining stable without complications throughout the five-year follow-up period," Camesasca said. "This treatment, which can be applied also to ectasia consequent to refractive surgery, is a revolution in management of corneal ectasia and can also be used to halt some particularly aggressive corneal infections."

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Brigitte Girard, M.D., of Tenon Hospital in Paris, and colleagues found that patients with Alzheimer's disease, whose vision improved after cataract surgery, also demonstrated improvement in cognitive ability, sleep, and mood. A neuropsychologist evaluated mood, depression, behavior, cognition, and ability to function independently one month before and three months after cataract surgery in 38 patients with mild dementia due to Alzheimer's disease.

The investigators found an improvement in cognition among 25 percent of patients. Depression and sleep also improved; however, the patient's ability to function independently did not change before or after cataract surgery.

"We wanted to learn whether significant vision improvement would result in positive mood and behavior changes, or might instead upset these patients' fragile coping strategies," Girard said in a statement. "In future studies, we intend to learn what factors, specifically, led to the positive effects we found, so that we can boost the quality of life for Alzheimer's patients, their families, and caregivers."

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AAO: More Time Outdoors May Cut Risk of Myopia in Children

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Spending more time outdoors is associated with reduced odds of myopia in children and adolescents, according to a study being presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, held from Oct. 22 to 25 in Orlando, Fla.

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