Diabetic Eye Disease

HMS Ophthalmology Center of ExcellenceCenter of Excellence

 

The Diabetic Eye Disease Center of Excellence is dedicated to continually advancing available treatments for diabetic retinopathy, including identifying risk factors for diabetes and diabetic retinopathy and evaluating novel approaches to therapy.

Diabetic Eye Disease

CO-DIRECTORS
Lloyd Paul Aiello, MD, PhD
Dean Eliott, MD
MEMBERS
See a list of Diabetic Eye Disease faculty

Because chronic hyperglycemia can have ravaging effects on blood vessels, many people with diabetes—especially those who depend on insulin injections to control blood sugar—will eventually develop vascular problems in the eye. The most common diabetic eye disease is retinopathy, which involves abnormal swelling, permeability, or growth of the retinal blood vessels. The leakage of fluid from the retinal vessels may cause edema (swelling) of the macula, which is responsible for central vision—thus leading to vision loss. According to the World Health Organization, diabetic retinopathy causes blindness in almost 5 million people worldwide. As the leading cause of vision loss in working-age adults, diabetic eye disease thus represents a significant global socioeconomic and healthcare problem. Pioneering work conducted by members of the Diabetic Eye Disease Center of Excellence demonstrated the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in diabetic retinopathy and the therapeutic potential of VEGF inhibitors, forming the scientific basis of current anti-VEGF therapies for diabetic macular edema. Researchers are continually advancing available treatments for diabetic retinopathy, including identifying risk factors for diabetes and diabetic retinopathy and evaluating novel approaches to therapy.

Featured News

Growth factor shown to protect the retina in early stage diabetes

Growth factor shown to protect the retina in early stage diabetes

February 3, 2017

New research findings may lead to development of new therapies to delay or prevent the development of diabetic eye disease.

Boston, Mass. — Researchers from the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear have shown that a slight increase in transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), which is present in preclinical animal models with diabetic eye disease, protects retinal blood vessels from damage that commonly occurs in the early stages of the disease (known as diabetic retinopathy). Their findings, … Read more about Growth factor shown to protect the retina in early stage diabetes

Jennifer Sun headshot

Dr. Jennifer K. Sun Selected as next National Chair of the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (DRCR.net) 

January 27, 2017

Jennifer K. Sun, MD, MPH, has been selected to become the 4th National Chair of the world-renowned Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (DRCR.net), one of the most prestigious positions for a clinical researcher in diabetic eye disease.  Her position as Chair-elect will commence immediately and she will assume the role of Chair for… Read more about Dr. Jennifer K. Sun Selected as next National Chair of the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (DRCR.net) 

Researchers identify candidate biomarker of accelerated onset diabetic retinopathy

Researchers identify candidate biomarker of accelerated onset diabetic retinopathy

April 1, 2016

 

Mass. Eye and Ear researchers describe, for the first time, an association between a defective myogenic response of blood vessels in the retina and early, accelerated development of retinopathy in patients with type 1 diabetes. The findings may lead to the development of targeted therapies to delay or prevent the development of diabetic retinopathy in this population.

(BOSTON) – Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Schepens… Read more about Researchers identify candidate biomarker of accelerated onset diabetic retinopathy

Lloyd Paul Aiello

Comparing Diabetic Macular Edema Treatments

February 19, 2015

Results of the DRCR.net Protocol T Study 

In the first clinical trial directly comparing three drugs most commonly used to treat diabetic macular edema, researchers found all were effective in improving vision and preventing vision loss. However, one drug, aflibercept, provided greater improvement for people with more severe vision loss when treatment was initiated. The trial was conducted by the National Eye Institute Diabetic… Read more about Comparing Diabetic Macular Edema Treatments

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