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Nanotechnology to change AMD treatment practices

It is likely that medication for diseases that lead to loss of eye-sight will not have to be delivered by unpleasant and expensive eye injections. It can be implemented into eye drops instead, according to a team of UK researchers, whose study was published in the nanotechnology journal Small.

The technology has been tested on animals and it can be in a breakthrough in treatment of such diseases that lead to loss of eye-sight as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The number of people with AMD and similar conditions is increasing dramatically. At the moment, according to statistics, 20% of people over the age of 75 suffer from AMD.

About 1,000,000 eye injections of the medications that inhibit the progress of AMD were given in the USA in 2010, and about 30,000 were administered in the UK in 2008, which is 150 times more than 10 years before.

Eye injections are very uncomfortable for patients and difficult to apply, as well as time-consuming and costly. They can also result in infection and bleeding. In some cases, patients have to come to the clinic to get the injections every month for two years.

Thus, replacement of injections with safe and effective eye-drops could bring an immense relief for patients. It would be a major breakthrough in AMD treatment practices, thinks Francesca Cordeiro, lead author of the study, a professor in the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London (UCL).

It has been a real challenge to discover a method to transport drugs to the retina. Before the study, the molecules of medications for AMD treatment (e.g. Avastin or Lucentis) were believed to be too large to be delivered through cornea to the back of the eyes in eye-drops.

But the study explains and shows how nanoparticles loaded with the drug can transport substantial amounts across the cells of the cornea to the retina of small rodents. The researchers have proved that it is possible to deliver Avastin in eye-drops into the back of the eye, halt the leak of blood vessels and prevent formation of new blood vessels, i.e. stop the progress of wet AMD. Theoretically, the technology can be modified to deliver other drugs for AMD treatment, e.g. Lucentis, which has smaller particles than Avastin.

The eye-drop method has been patented by UCL Business, UCL’s technology transfer company, which is now searching for funding partners to start the clinical trials. The authors emphasize that all the components of the technology are absolutely safe and established, which can speed up the project and help begin trials with patients.

Why it is beneficial to go swimming?

Modern life puts a large number of men on their knees: the urban bustle, office work, business with a variety of lesser stuff and so on. The key bane of the today’s man is the catastrophic lack of time! This gives rise to various kinds of diseases, affects the nerves, cardiovascular system, muscles, spine and other systems of the body.

But a little number of people knows that something like swimming in an ordinary swimming pool, for at least 3 times a week, will help the exhausted today’s man to secure from all these illnesses. Therefore, be sure to learn how to plan your day and find free 6 hours per week to buy a membership card and start to swim in the neighboring swimming pool. It seems to be nothing special; one is just swimming in the water, and nothing else, why they say it helps to improve the health? In what way are the swimming trainings beneficial?

That’s right, when you are swimming in the pool almost all the muscles of the body are working at that time, you simultaneously burst an enormous amount of energy, which helps to maintain the fitness and get rid of excess calories received during the day resulting from the consumption of junk fatty foods. Even the physical training outside of the water, hardly can help you to remove so huge amount of fat. During swimming session one spends much more energy than during the training in the gym as he has to overcome the resistance of water.

Swimming is essentially advantageous for people who have spine problems and feel pains in the back. No one came up yet with a suitable workout for a bad back, which would have been so effective in prevention and treatment of the musculoskeletal system. While you are swimming, the water medium applies a normal load on the spine, without overloading its separate areas and thus giving a uniform load distribution to each individual vertebra.

Swimming is a kind of sport, so do not necessarily go to the gym with the aim to increase muscle mass itself, it is enough to swim in the pool and you get not only a good boost of energy and reduce your belly, but will train all other muscles of your body, which will form even relief in and of themselves. Different styles of swimming require the involvement of various muscle groups, so, in order to achieve best results, professional trainers recommend to alternate styles. Often the least favorite style can bring maximum benefit to a man. It will involve the weakest muscles, helping to overcome the imbalance of muscle groups’ development.