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Tempest-Roe S.,Imperial College London | Joshi L.,Imperial College London | Joshi L.,University College London | Dick A.D.,University College London | And 3 more authors.
BMC Ophthalmology | Year: 2013

Despite their side-effects and the advent of systemic immunosuppressives and biologics, the use of corticosteroids remains in the management of patients with uveitis, particularly when inflammation is associated with systemic disease or when bilateral ocular disease is present. The use of topical corticosteroids as local therapy for anterior uveitis is well-established, but periocular injections of corticosteroid can also be used to control mild or moderate intraocular inflammation. More recently, intraocular corticosteroids such as triamcinolone and steroid-loaded vitreal inserts and implants have been found to be effective, including in refractory cases. Additional benefits are noted when ocular inflammation is unilateral or asymmetric, when local therapy may preclude the need to increase the systemic medication.Implants in particular have gained prominence with evidence of efficacy including both dexamethasone and fluocinolone loaded devices. However, an appealing avenue of research lies in the development of non-corticosteroid drugs in order to avoid the side-effects that limit the appeal of injected corticosteroids. Several existing drugs are being assessed, including anti-VEGF compounds such as ranibizumab and bevacizumab, anti-tumour necrosis factor alpha antibodies such as infliximab, as well as older cytotoxic medications such as methotrexate and cyclosporine, with varying degrees of success. Intravitreal sirolimus is currently undergoing phase 3 trials in uveitis and other inflammatory pathways have also been proposed as suitable therapeutic targets. Furthermore, the advent of biotechnology is seeing advances in generation of new therapeutic molecules such as high affinity binding peptides or modified high affinity or bivalent single chain Fab fragments, offering higher specificity and possibility of topical delivery. © 2013 Tempest-Roe et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Tibber M.S.,University College London | Manasseh G.S.L.,University College London | Clarke R.C.,University College London | Gagin G.,Wellesley College | And 6 more authors.
Vision Research | Year: 2013

Sensitivity to visual numerosity has previously been shown to predict human mathematical performance. However, it is not clear whether it is discrimination of numerosity per se that is predictive of mathematical ability, or whether the association is driven by more general task demands. To test this notion we had over 300 participants (ranging in age from 6 to 73. years) perform a symbolic mathematics test and 4 different visuospatial matching tasks. The visual tasks involved matching 2 clusters of Gabor elements for their numerosity, density, size or orientation by a method of adjustment. Partial correlation and regression analyses showed that sensitivity to visual numerosity, sensitivity to visual orientation and mathematical education level predict a significant proportion of shared as well as unique variance in mathematics scores. These findings suggest that sensitivity to visual numerosity is not a unique visual psychophysical predictor of mathematical ability. Instead, the data are consistent with mathematics representing a multi-factorial process that shares resources with a number of visuospatial tasks. © 2013 The Authors. Source


McClenaghan F.C.,Barts and the London NHS Foundation Trust | Ezra D.G.,Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust | Ezra D.G.,UCL Institute of Ophthalmology | Ezra D.G.,University College London | Holmes S.B.,Barts and the London NHS Foundation Trust
Current Opinion in Ophthalmology | Year: 2011

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To examine the proposed mechanisms of vision-threatening injuries occurring secondary to orbital and facial trauma: traumatic optic neuropathy (TON), retrobulbar haemorrhage (RBH) and penetrating eye injury. To evaluate the evidence supporting different management options for traumatic vision-threatening injury. RECENT FINDINGS: Despite considerable debate over the roles of surgical decompression and systemic steroid therapy for TON, these interventions have not been proved to be more effective than conservative management and there is limited evidence that the use of steroids may be associated with an adverse outcome. Lateral canthotomy and inferior cantholysis have been proven to be effective treatments for RBH. Orbital exploration and surgical evacuation of haematoma remains a second line intervention. Open globe injuries require immediate primary surgical exploration and repair. Irretrievable devastating globe injuries require either enucleation or evisceration. There is no consensus as to which is the best treatment with recent surveys indicating that enucleation is preferred in the USA and evisceration in the United Kingdom. SUMMARY: Conservative management is the first line treatment for TON. The evidence strongly supports lateral canthotomy and inferior cantholysis as best treatment for RBH. There is no consensus as to whether enucleation or evisceration is the best treatment for irretrievable devastating globe injury. The choice of management is currently determined by surgeon preference. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source


News Article | February 6, 2016
Site: http://motherboard.vice.com/

Somewhere on University College London’s campus there is a lab occupied by a number of engineers making breakfast. The only thing on the menu in this lab is pancakes, and many of the chefs have terminal degrees in fluid mechanics. Everyone in the lab is possessed with a singular purpose: creating the perfect flapjack. Few would disagree that this is an admirable goal, but the engineers’ maniacal pursuit of pancake perfection has less to do with ensuring a delicious breakfast than figuring out what the physics of pancakes can teach us about restoring eyesight. As the UCL team details in the current issue of Mathematics TODAY, figuring out the physics involved in cooking pancakes could help improve surgical methods for treating glaucoma, a group of eye diseases that can lead to total or partial loss of vision. By looking at pancake recipes from around the world, ranging from Canadian ploye to Dutch poffertjes to Malaysian lempeng kelapa, the team sought to study how the texture and appearance of the pancakes varied by recipe. According to the UCL team’s research, the appearance of pancakes largely depends on how water escapes from the batter during cooking, a factor which is itself influenced by the thickness of the batter. To arrive at this conclusion, the team analyzed two parameters of each of the 14 pancake recipes. First they looked at the cake’s aspect ratio (the pancake’s diameter raised by a power of three in relation to the volume of its batter), and then the “baker’s percentage” (the ratio of liquid to flour in the batter, which determines the batter’s thickness). What the team found was that small, thick pancakes like Dutch poffertjes had the lowest aspect ratios (3) whereas large, thin pancakes like French crêpes had the largest aspect ratios (300). The baker’s percentages didn’t have such wild variations, staying in a range of 100 (thick batters with an equal amount of liquid and flour) to 225 (runny mixtures with significantly more liquid than flour). By maintaining a fixed amount of egg and flour in different batter recipes, the UCL team experimented with different amounts of milk to see how the baker’s percentages would affect the appearance of the flapjacks. They found that thicker batters with a baker’s ratio of around 100 led to pancakes with irregular craters on the bottom surface because water vapors were trapped in the cooking process and would unevenly raise the pancake from the pan. The thinnest batters with baker’s ratios of 225 were found to have even color surfaces pockmarked with darker spots and a distinctive dark outer ring around the edge of the pancake where the batter was thinnest. Water vapor escapes smoothly across the bottom of the pancake, leaving a uniform color and small channels where the water vapor escaped. Small channels where water vapor escaped can be seen on pancakes Image: Rob Eagle, UCL "We found that the physics of pancake cooking is complex, but generally follows one of two trends,” Yann Bouremel, a co-author of the study at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, said in a press release. “If the batter spreads easily in the pan, the pancake ends up with a smooth surface pattern and less burning as the vapor flow buffers the heat of the pan. We found a thin pancake can only be created by physically spreading the batter across the pan and in this case, the vapor tends to escape through channels or diffusion." According to the team, the observations provide valuable insight into how flexible sheets, like those found in the human eye, interact with flowing vapor and liquid. This is of particular use in figuring out new ways to treat glaucoma, a group of diseases which is characterized by the buildup of liquid around the eye. This liquid is unable to escape and puts pressure on the optic nerve, and overtime this pressure causes damage that can lead to partial or total blindness. Thus, figuring out a way to allow this liquid to escape (say, by studying the way liquid escapes pancake batter) could save people’s eyesight. “To treat [glaucoma], surgeons create an escape route for the fluid by carefully cutting the flexible sheets of the sclera,”Professor Sir Peng Khaw, co-author and Director of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, said . “We are improving this technique by working with engineers and mathematicians. [The pancakes study] is a wonderful example of how the science of everyday activities can help us with the medical treatments of the future."


News Article
Site: http://www.rdmag.com/rss-feeds/all/rss.xml/all

Under standing the textures and patterns of pancakes is helping UCL scientists improve surgical methods for treating glaucoma. The appearance of pancakes depends on how water escapes the batter mix during the cooking process and this varies with the thickness of the batter, according to new UCL research. Understanding the physics of the process can help perfect pancake making and gives important insights into how flexible sheets, like those found in human eyes, interact with flowing vapor and liquids. Co-author Professor Ian Eames, Professor of Fluid Mechanics at UCL Engineering, said: "Pancakes come in many shapes and sizes and everyone has their favorites - some prefer a small, thick pancake with a smooth surface whereas others enjoy a large, thin crêpe with 'craters' and crispy edges. We've discovered that the variations in texture and patterns result from differences in how water escapes the batter during cooking and that this is largely dependent on the thickness and spread of the batter." The study, published in Mathematics TODAY, compared recipes for 14 different types of pancakes from across the world including the Canadian ploye and Malaysian lempeng kelapa. For each, the team analyzed and plotted the aspect ratio, i.e. the pancake diameter to the power of three in relation to its volume of batter, and the baker's percentage which is the ratio of liquid to flour in the batter, i.e. the thickness of the batter. They found thick, almost spherical pancakes such as Dutch poffertjes had the lowest aspect ratio at 3, whereas large, thin French crêpes had the biggest at 300. The baker's percentage didn't vary as dramatically, ranging from 100 for thick mixtures (i.e. equal measures of flour and liquid) to 175 for thinner mixtures containing more liquid. To explore how these ratios influence the textures and patterns of pancakes, the scientists made batters with a fixed amount of flour and egg but different amounts of milk. Pancakes were made using the batters in the same pan, at the same heat and without fat. The scientists found that: "We found that the physics of pancake cooking is complex but generally follows one of two trends. If the batter spreads easily in the pan, the pancake ends up with a smooth surface pattern and less burning as the vapor flow buffers the heat of the pan. We found a thin pancake can only be created by physically spreading the batter across the pan and in this case, the vapor tends to escape through channels or diffusion," said co-author Yann Bouremel, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. "We work on better surgical methods for treating glaucoma, which is a build-up of pressure in eyes caused by fluid. To treat this, surgeons create an escape route for the fluid by carefully cutting the flexible sheets of the sclera. We are improving this technique by working with engineers and mathematicians. It's a wonderful example of how the science of everyday activities can help us with the medical treatments of the future," said Peng Khaw, Director of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. Read more at: "We work on better surgical methods for treating glaucoma, which is a build-up of pressure in eyes caused by fluid. To treat this, surgeons create an escape route for the fluid by carefully cutting the flexible sheets of the sclera. We are improving this technique by working with engineers and mathematicians. It's a wonderful example of how the science of everyday activities can help us with the medical treatments of the future."Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-02-physics-pancake-sight.html#jCp

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