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A new culprit in diabetic retinopathy

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have discovered that the protein ANGPTL4 (Angiopoietin-like 4) contributes to the proliferation of leaky blood vessels in the eye in patients with diabetic retinopathy, leading to a loss of vision and eventually permanent blindness.

Recently developed drugs for treating diabetic retinopathy that target the protein VEGF delay the progress of the disease but do not halt it completely, and the drugs are ineffective for some patients.

Laboratory tests showed that when both ANGPTL4 and VEGF were blocked the growth of blood vessels was drastically reduced, indicating that new treatments that target both proteins would be more effective than drugs targeting VEGF alone.

Further studies are being done to see if ANGPTL4 plays a role in other eye diseases, such as AMD.

Further information: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/study_suggests_new_way_of_preventing_diabetes_associated_blindness

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