Washington: Researchers at the University of Georgia have found that a statin drug that is often known by the brand-name Lipitor may help prevent blindness in people with diabetes. In a study using diabetic rats, lead author Azza El-Remessy, assistant professor in the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, and her colleagues found that statins prevent free radicals in the retina from killing nerves important to maintaining vision. “The exciting part is that there are now treatment options that are proven to be safe that can be immediately translated to patients,” said El-Remessy. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in adults and is observed in most patients after 10 to 15 years of diabetes. There are no currently FDA-approved oral treatments for diabetic retinopathy, and surgical methods are expensive and painful, she added.
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