Picture of normal fundus of the eye (optic nerve and fovea)
The macula is the most specialized part of the retina, responsible for detailed vision and colour perception. Some of the major diseases that affect the macula, such as age related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy lead to impaired vision. Regular follow ups by a specialized ophthalmologist are necessary in order to avoid irreversible damage to vision.
age related macular degeneration:
In VEIC we apply all modern innovative therapies for the treatment of macular diseases such as intraocular drug delivery and photodynamic therapy.
The intraocular drug delivery is based on the recent observation that the vitreous has the ability to store drugs with biological properties in itself as well as in the retina. This idea was firstly applied in the treatment of serious intracular infections with antibiotics but recently we found out that the same method can be used for the administration of biological drugs such as antibodies against specific target molecules. Nowadays the intraocular pathway is the way of choice for the administration of drugs against macular degeneration (anti-VEGF) and macular oedema in cases such as diabetes, inflammations, thrombosis and postoperative oedema. In VEIC we research the use of the intraocular pathway for the admonistration of drugs like NSAIDS and bio-drugs against target molecules associated with the process of inflammation (anti-TNF).
The photodynamic therapy is based on the combined action of photosensitive pigments (Visudine), that are administered intravenously and laser radiation, that excites them to obtain biological activity. This method has been applied to treat age related macular degeneration in conjuction with drugs against growth factors (anti-VEGF). In addition to that it is often used in the treatment of chronic central serous retinopathy. In our Institute we run a protocol to investigate whether the photodynamic therapy can be applied in the level of the ciliary body to reduce the intraocular pressure.
Inherited diseases of the retina
The inherited diseases of the retina often lead to its degeneration resulting in irreversible loss of vision quite early in life. Characteristic dieseases of this group are retinitis pigmentosa and Statgardt disease. For the early and correct diagnosis of these diseases careful clinical observation is required combined with electrophysiological examination and genetic identification. The Fundus Department of the University Hospital of Heraklion is a Reference Centre for Hereditary Retinal Diseases. The availiability of experienced clinical team, modern electrophysiology laboratory, Clinical Genetic Bank and cooperation with the Biogenomica Laboratory of Genetics, that ia specialized in genetic identification of retinal diseases makes VEIC a state of the art Institute for the diagnosis and treatment of inherited retinal diseases.