Could Hormone Replacement Therapy protect against Glaucoma? Several studies have asked this question before, with equivocal findings. The Rotterdam & Blue Mountain Eye Studies both found a reduced risk, though it didn’t reach statistical significance, while the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study found no protective effect.
Next week my wife Angie Ryan will host a fundraising evening to support a charity called Destiny Rescue. We became aware of this charity around the time of my trip to Cambodia late last year because my son’s English teacher from 2013, Tanya Mathias, has taken leave this year to teach in Phnom Penh as a volunteer.
Earlier this month I went to Cambodia as a volunteer on behalf of Sight For All (SFA) a charity I have blogged about before. The project I’m involved with sends Australian ophthalmologists to help locally-trained ophthalmologists develop sub-specialty skills. It’s a great cause and SFA has demonstrated impressive results, with projects also ongoing in Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Bhutan, Nepal and other Asian countries. The founder and head of SFA is Dr James Muecke AM, a man of true vision and relentless energy who has succeeded in drawing together a team of ophthalmologists from all around Australia. It’s a privilege to be included with the team, and it’s a wonderful project to work on.
Last month Dr David Hubel died, aged 87. He was a giant in visual neuroscience, and his work with Dr Torsten Wiesel led to the collaborators sharing (with Roger Sperry) the 1981 Nobel in Physiology or Medicine.
As I’ve written before, macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in Australia, and 1 in 7 Australians over 50 suffer from it. Although the wet, aggressive, neovascular form is justifiably feared, there are pharmacological treatments widely available that for many patients salvage or restore vision. The dry, atrophic, form remains untreatable, and in some patients it inexorably progresses to its most advanced form, geographic atrophy (GA). In patients with GA there may be no functional macula tissue remaining, and central vision is lost.
The emergence of “superbugs”, bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics, is shaping up as one of the greatest world-wide health-care challenges of the (still relatively) new century. Infectious Diseases (ID) Physicians warn of a coming “Red Plague” that threatens to effectively take us back to the pre-antibiotic era, when people died of what are currently considered minor infections, due to increasing Gram-negative resistance.