Science Briefs – Edition 27

What's Inside

  • Bogus cures for blindness and debunking myths of glaucoma.
  • One in eight Indians at risk of blindness.
  • How gene editing can prevent vision loss.
  • Large study into rare eye disorders.
  • And, about 20 articles about science, medicine and preventing blindness from all over the world.

Editorial By Chris Hofstader

Welcome to the twenty seventh edition of Science Briefs. This edition has more than 20 articles and, because it was glaucoma awareness week, it's a big edition for people interested in that disease.

The articles I found most interesting this week were those about bogus cures for blindness and the debunking of myths about glaucoma. I'm blind from retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disorder so I've been moderately vision impaired, severely vision impaired, profoundly vision impaired and am now totally blind. As my vision was deteriorating, I would grow excited whenever I read or heard of another potential cure for RP, whether it was backed by science or not. I spent a large amount of money on alternative medicine, mostly on acupuncture treatments. If you do an Internet search, you will find all sorts of claims for treatments related to virtually every kind of blindness that have no basis in science, no research to support the claims and very high prices for these bogus cures for blindness.

When an individual has a degenerative eye disorder, they will grow desparate to find a cure so are easy targets for a con artist. Mainstream science is honest and tells us that, while they are working hard on the research, there are no cures for RP yet; acupuncturists and other alternative medicine practioners will tell you they can cure or slow the progress of your disease, charge you a lot of money, fill you with hope and, when it doesn't work, you don't get a refund and your vision continues to deteriorate. What do you call alternative medicine that actually works? You call it "medicine" and drop the alternative adjective altogether.

As a community, we need to do more to expose the fake cures for blindness and educate people with degenerative diseases about how science and medicine works so they do not follow in my footsteps and waste a lot of time and money being treated with techniques that cannot possibly work.

We hope you enjoy this edition of Science Briefs and that you subscribe to World Blind Herald so you never miss an issue.


World Blind herald does not write the stories to which we link in Science Briefs, we gather them, curate them and bring them to our readers. We are not scientists ourselves and cannot guarantee the validity of the stories in this digest. We do, however, want to be very clear that you should not attempt any of the medical interventions mentioned in Science Briefs without first consulting a professional ophthalmologist and discussing it with them. Do not take medical advice from this or any other web site or podcast without first consulting a professional.

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Science and Medicine

The doctors selling bogus treatments to people facing blindness

I struggled to believe that a doctor could operate so openly unless there was some scientific evidence behind his claims. This story comes to us from: BBC.

World Glaucoma Week: A clear perspective on navigating glaucoma with knowledge and support

Proper and timely treatment can prevent further blindness. It is advisable to visit an ophthalmologist for regular preventive eye check-ups. This story comes to us from: UNITED NEWS OF INDIA.

A Multicenter Cross-Sectional Study of the Awareness and Screening for Retinopathy of Prematurity Among NICU Pediatricians in Makkah and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

This study aims to evaluate neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) pediatricians' knowledge about retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in the major tertiary centers in Makkah and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This story comes to us from: Cureus.

1 in 8 Indians at risk of developing irreversible blindness: Expert

Every eighth person in India is at risk of developing glaucoma that causes irreversible blindness, a health expert said here on Wednesday. This story comes to us from: dtnext.

How CRISPR Gene Editing May Help Reverse Vision Loss

Researchers restored sight in mice with retinitis pigmentosa by using gene editing, according to a study published today in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. This story comes to us from: Healthline.

Night blindness; causes, symptoms, and treatments you may need to know

In reference to an article published by healthline, night blindness, also known as nyctalopia, is a condition in which an individual experiences difficulty seeing in low-light or dark environments. It is a common vision disorder that can affect people of all ages, but it is particularly prevalent in individuals with certain underlying medical conditions. This story comes to us from: Opera News.

The brain science collaboration that offers hope to blind people

A key aim of Pieter Roelfsema's research is to develop a device to restore rudimentary eyesight to people whose optic nerve has died. This story comes to us from: Nature.

Can Blindness Be Cured?

There's no current cure for blindness. But treatments can offer help for some people, depending on the cause and progression of their vision loss. This story comes to us from: Healthline.

Valeria Canto-Soler, PhD: Envisioning a Cure for Blindness

I dream of the day when we may see all our efforts crystalized into our very first medical treatment to restore vision in blind patients! This story comes to us from: CU Anschutz Newsroom.

Newly identified therapeutic target could lead to more effective treatment of glaucoma

Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease that causes vision loss and blindness due to a damaged optic nerve. This story comes to us from: News Medical.

Large-scale study enables new insights into rare eye disorders

Researchers use UK Biobank data to uncover new information about rare diseases of the eye. This story comes to us from: ScienceDaily.

Curing blindness globally

Every exam, medication, pair of eyeglasses, and surgery is offered to the citizens of Sierra Leone free of charge. This story comes to us from: Anson Record.

Debunked! Eye doctor blows the whistle on five common glaucoma myths

Glaucoma is a highly misunderstood disease, and unfortunately, many people remain unaware of their condition until it has progressed to a severe stage. This story comes to us from: Lifestyle News.

Study tackles role of one long noncoding RNA in diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the major cause of acquired blindness in working age adults, and mitochondrial dysfunction plays a critical role in its pathogenesis. This story comes to us from: Today@Wayne.

Managing Glaucoma The Second Leading Cause Of Blindness

World Glaucoma Week is celebrated annually in March to raise awareness about the importance of early detection and treatment of glaucoma. This story comes to us from: BW Healthcare.

Punjab health department to observe glaucoma week from March 12

Early diagnosis and treatment could prevent glaucoma related blindness. This story comes to us from:

Foundation Gathers in Fight Against Blindness | Events

Since being formed in 2009, the Foundation Fighting Blindness’s Naples chapter has become an important part of the national organization’s success. This story comes to us from:

Signs That Indicate A Person Is Slowly Going Blind And Early Steps To Take

WebMD reports that blindness is a major health problem; you need to know the warning symptoms of vision loss and how to treat them before they cause permanent damage. This story comes to us from: Opera News. 

###[CME On Oculoplasty And Ocular Oncology][111]

A revolution has occurred in the field of Oculoplasty
and apart from the easy treatment of eye tumours, aesthetic surgery has also been added to the arena of ophthalmology. This story comes to us from: India Education Diary Bureau Admin.

WVU Eye Institute retinopathy of prematurity clinical trial results in FDA approval

EYLEA is the first pharmacologic treatment for preterm infants with retinopathy of … ROP a leading cause of childhood blindness. This story comes to us from: WVNews.

Glaucoma: Warning Signs, Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

Glaucoma is a disease that affects the eyes and can lead to blindness if left untreated. It is caused by damage to the optic nerve. This story comes to us from:

Preventing Blindness

How You Can Prevent Avoidable Blindness

Blindness, the loss of vision, is becoming a public health concern as the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019 estimated that about one billion people are living with preventable vision impairment globally. This story comes to us from: Leadership News.