A statin drug (Lipitor) may help prevent blindness in people with diabetes, according to researchers at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy. In a study using diabetic rats and isolated retinal cells cultured in high glucose, lead author Azza El-Remessy, assistant professor in the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, and her colleagues found that oral treatment with the drug atorvastatin blocked the formation of free radicals in the retina. This restored proper levels of nerve growth factor and preserved neurons in the retina. The drug was orally administered to rats in doses proportional to levels given to human patients with cardiovascular problems.
The results of the study are published in the March edition of the journal Diabetologia.
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