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NEI Research News

Thanks to the work of NEI scientists and grantees, we’re constantly learning new information about the causes and treatment of vision disorders. Get the latest updates about their work — along with other news about NEI.

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Mexico and U.S. flags

US-Mexico Symposium highlights international collaborations, diabetic eye disease research

January 31, 2023

Session topics included assessing the global burden of diabetes-related eye disease; preventing, treating, and managing disease; and collaborating internationally.
A person with diabetes checks their blood sugar

Researchers unravel why episodes of low blood sugar worsen eye disease in people with diabetes

January 26, 2023

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine say they have linked transient low blood sugar levels that occur in people with diabetes with a molecular pathway that is turned on in oxygen-starved cells in the eye.

Small creatures teach big lessons

January 24, 2023

In the vision field, researchers turn to a variety of small, non-mammalian animal models to help bridge gaps in our scientific knowledge.
Animation of abnormal blood vessels bleeding into the center of the eye due to proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Photo credit: National Eye Institute. Watch video.

Type 1 diabetes: Maintaining the enzyme ACE2 in the gut prevents diabetic blindness

January 13, 2023

Study from University of Alabama at Birmingham suggests that a leaky small intestine that weakens the barrier between gut bacteria and the blood system may drive diabetic retinopathy.
Eye with coloboma

Zebrafish model helps explain eye development

January 11, 2023

Developed by NIH scientists, the model also sheds light on developmental eye disorders such as coloboma.
3D illustration of nanoparticle inside an eye

Nanotechnology may improve gene therapy for blindness

January 11, 2023

Using nanotechnology that enabled mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, a new approach to gene therapy may improve how physicians treat inherited forms of blindness.
Microscopy image of red fluorescent retinal neurons

Lab-grown retinal eye cells make successful connections, open door for clinical trials to treat blindness

January 4, 2023

Retinal cells grown from stem cells can reach out and connect with neighbors, according to a new study, completing a “handshake” that may show the cells are ready for trials in humans with degenerative eye disorders.
Green-stained limbal stem cells track towards center of mouse cornea.

Dry eye disease alters how the eye’s cornea heals itself after injury

January 2, 2023

Studying mice, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that proteins made by stem cells that regenerate the cornea may be new targets for treating and preventing corneal injuries in people with dry eye.
Diagram of myopic eye stretched front-to-back showing light focused in front of the retina

SUNY Optometry receives grant to reveal cellular and molecular mechanisms affecting myopia development

December 29, 2022

Myopia is a leading cause of vision impairment worldwide and is growing in prevalence, this study aims to provide a deeper understanding of the biology of myopia that will lead to new and more effective treatments.
Microelectrode array and 2-photon microscope.

Human brain organoids implanted into mouse cortex respond to visual stimuli for first time

December 28, 2022

A team of engineers and neuroscientists has demonstrated for the first time that human brain organoids implanted in mice have established functional connectivity to the animals’ cortex and responded to external sensory stimuli.