I am always seeing diabetic patients and it pains me when they lose vision.  It is always good to see when we develop new technology that may help prevent what should be preventable blindness.

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center have found a way to use a natural compound to stop one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. The research appears online this month in the journal Diabetes, a publication of the American Diabetes Association. 

The discovery of the compound’s function in inflammation and blood vessel formation related to eye disease means scientists can now develop new therapies – including eye drops – to stop diabetic retinopathy, a disease which affects as many as five million Americans with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes…

…Oklahoma researchers found that this inflammation and leakage is caused by an imbalance of two systems in the eye. To restore balance, they delivered the new compound to cells using nanoparticle technology. The treatment in research models stopped the leakage, blocked inflammation and kept unwanted blood vessels from growing. Researchers are now testing the compound’s uses for cancer and age-related macular degeneration.

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The streets of Encinitas are filled with runners. Some of them world class runners and triathletes, some of them barefoot. The cover article of Nature is on barefoot running. Nature is a peer-reviewed inter-disciplinary publication that is well respected within the scientific community, therefore an article on barefoot running is one of note. The article goes into detail about the difference in foot strike between barefoot running and running with a shoe. Simply put, the barefoot running lands more on the forefoot and uses much less shocking impact than the heal strike runner wearing shoes.
I do not know if it is just me but it seems the topic of barefoot running is coming up everywhere I look recently. The book Born to Run by Chris McDougall discusses barefoot running and specifically the Tarahumara runners in Mexico and their running prowess. Of course they run in very minimalistic sandals. The Kenyan runners are known to run barefoot and the Stanford track team was running barefoot, inspiring the Nike Free running shoe.
Crossfit is a strength and conditioning program (more about Crossfit at another blog), but they discuss performing many of their exercises barefoot to increase strength and stability within the foot and ankle. Additionally, the running portion of Crossfit promotes the POSE running method, which is similar in many ways to running barefoot.
It is hard to argue that we were designed well and designed to be able to run. I have a similar discussion with my patients when they are having difficulty seeing up close as they age. While there are great designs on progressive lenses, bifocal contacts and multifocal implants, we have not come up with the replacement for the natural lens that allows the patient to focus like a 25 year. Not yet at least.
Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners
Daniel E. Lieberman1, Madhusudhan Venkadesan1,2,8, William A. Werbel3,8, Adam I. Daoud1,8, Susan D’Andrea4, Irene S. Davis5, Robert Ojiambo Mang’Eni6,7 & Yannis Pitsiladis6,7

Triabetes is a certified triathlon team that works with diabetics in understanding the psychology, physiology and biotechnology such that they can compete in triathlons.  In 2009, fourteen Triabetes team captains mentored type 1 children in preparation for an adventure expedition that culminated at Ironman Arizona. Watch the Triabuddies as they overcome diabetes in the Channel Islands and inspire their athlete mentors to an Ironman finish

One of the captains is Bill Carlson. Bill Carlson is a close friend of mine and has been diabetic since the age of 13. He also is the first insulin dependent diabetic to complete the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii, has run a sub 2:40 marathon, completed the Western States 100 mile run and many other endurance events. Most interestingly, he has been a patient of mine for over 20 years, is a successful Lasik patient and has never had any signs of diabetic retinopathy. Does controlling his diabetes through exercise play a role in his ocular health, his overall health?

On Saturday January 23 at 3:15 pm at the Carlsbad Village Theaters the Science of Inspiration documentary of the Triabetes Team members makes its San Diego debut. I am certain it will be moving and educational.  To learn more about Triabetes you can go to www.triabetes.org. See you there.

If you are around my age you have hauled around a few crates of albums every time you move.  You do not know exactly why you move them, but you do.  They are from a period in your life that is impactful; the music from that era will always be your favorite, of which Chris Rock has an interesting theory.  Our kids will not move albums and they probably will not move books.

We purchased a Kindle for our daughter (the reader) and it is a remarkable device.  It is easy to read, easy to purchase books with and it is great to take on a plane.  This is how her generation will read, just like they have all their music on an iPod, their books will all be on a Kindle.  As much as I said, “but I like to hold a book”, this is much easier, much more comfortable than a book. Weird!

For my patient’s, who have trouble reading in low light, small print ect., the Kindle is great because you can change the font size very easily.  Most patients are able to find a font that is easy for them to read in any light. Also, those patients do not need to “go online” to order their books.  While some older patients love the computer some do not. Being able to order books from the Kindle is a big benefit for these patients. Without having all those books to lug around I wonder how many backs will be saved!

Encinitas Optometry

1279 Encinitas Blvd Encinitas, CA 92024 760-436-1877 www.encinitaseyecare.com