2 November 2021

What's trending in vision sciences?

This edition takes a look at the risk variants and genetic distribution of Age-related macular degeneration as well as topical ivermectin-metronidazole gel therapy for blepharitis caused by Demodex.

Every fortnight, our Library and Information Services Manager, Shirley Hart, identifies the articles in our collection that optometrists are talking about. 

In this edition of What’s Trending…, we take a look at the factors that affect age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and the efficacy of topical ivermectin-metronidazole combined therapy in the management of Demodex-associated blepharitis.

Genetic risk, lifestyle, and age-related macular degeneration in Europe: The EYE-RISK consortium

Seen in: Ophthalmology 

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common multifactorial disease in the elderly with a prominent genetic basis. Many risk variants have been identified, but the interpretation remains challenging. This study investigated the genetic distribution of AMD-associated risk variants in a large European consortium, calculated attributable and pathway-specific genetic risks, and assessed the influence of lifestyle on genetic outcomes. Genetic risk variants were found to contribute to late AMD in most patients. However, lifestyle factors were also found to have a strong influence on the outcome of genetic risk, and the study recommends that this should also be a strong focus in patient management.

Read the full study

Topical ivermectin-metronidazole gel therapy in the treatment of blepharitis caused by Demodex spp.: A randomized clinical trial

Seen in:  Contact Lens and Anterior Eye

Two distinct Demodex mite species have been confirmed as a cause of blepharitis. This study evaluates the efficacy of topical ivermectin-metronidazole combined therapy in the management of Demodex-associated blepharitis in sixty patients diagnosed with the condition. Demodex spp. was completely eradicated in 96.6% of patients in the treatment group, and no adverse effects were observed. The researchers conclude that the application of this gel for the treatment of different parasitic infections of the eyelids is viable, and further exploration is recommended.

Read the full study

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Related further reading

Mike Horler FCOptom presents current treatment strategies for late wet AMD, diabetic oedema and branch vein occlusion.


As age-related macular degeneration progresses, part of the visual cortex starts to atrophy. But which way does the causal relationship work, asks Kim Thomas, and what does it mean for treatments focused on the retina if the brain has entered an irreversible decline?

Brush up your knowledge on one of the most remarkable parts of the eye. Kimi Chaddah explores the cornea’s anatomy, its capacity for healing, and promising research avenues in corneal innervation.