James and Jean Culver Vision Discovery Institute
The mission of the James and Jean Culver Vision Discovery Institute is to engage in high impact research and discovery related to visual function and disease the outcome of which is expected to have far-reaching clinical applications for patients suffering from blindness and visual disorders. More information about the James and Jean Culver Vision Discovery Institute can be found at http://www.culvervdi.org/.
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Alteration of growth factors and neuronal death in diabetic retinopathy: what we have learned so farPurpose: Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a leading cause of blindness in American adults. Over the years, DR has been perceived as a vascular disease characterized by vascular permeability, macular edema, and neovascularization that can lead to blindness. Relatively new research on neurodegeneration is expanding our views of the pathogenesis of DR. Evidence has begun to point to the fact that even before vascular complications begin to manifest, neuronal cell death and dysfunction have already begun. Based on the literature and our own studies, we address whether neuronal death is associated with loss of neurotrophic support due to less production of a given growth factor or due to impairment of its signaling events regardless of the level of the growth factor itself.