Moorfields eye hospital in London will be one of 11 centres that will trial the treatment of retinopathy with eye drops.
Retinopathy is a form of damage that affects blood vessels of the retina. Retinopathy can become problematic if these blood vessels leak. Problems can also develop when new, weaker blood vessels grow and subsequently leak.
The study will test two drugs with neuroprotective properties. One of these drugs is somatostati, a hormone that inhibits specific growth hormones and could therefore limit the growth of new, weak blood vessels on the retina which can lead to sight problems in people with diabetic retinopathy. The second drug is brimonidine has been used to treat open-angle glaucoma and has also been shown to be protective against the loss of retinal nerve cells.
The researchers will be looking to see whether the treatments could help to limit the development of retinopathy at an early stage. The trial will recruit 41 patients to assess safety and effectiveness of the treatments. The trials are part of the EUROCONDOR project which is investigating early treatment of diabetic retinopathy. The project commenced in March 2012 and is set to run until February 2016.
As well as investigating treatment of diabetic retinopathy, the researchers hope they may be able find new ways to screen and diagnose retinopathy at an earlier stage.

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