Vision Health

A New Clue to Treatment for Diabetic Macular Edema

Researchers are drawing closer to understanding why so many patients with diabetic macular edema (DME), a serious vision condition linked to diabetes, do not respond to current therapies.

The drugs target a protein, VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), that is inside the eye. But, researchers discovered, the patients for whom the drug doesn’t work don’t have a high VEGF level. They do, however, have high levels of a protein called PKal (plasma kallikrein) as well as associated molecules that are key in an inflammatory molecular pathway involved in the disease.

The scientists also showed that in animals , the PKal molecular pathway can induce retinal edema through mechanisms that have nothing to do with VEGF.

The finding, published in the journal Diabetes, indicates a possible new target for treatment.

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