Clinical trial aims to help diabetics save their vision

Clinical trial aims to help diabetics save their vision

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Southeastern Retina Associates is one of 100 sites across the country partnering with the National Institutes of Health in a study on the latest injectable eye treatment to see if it works better than the gold standard, laser therapy. Southeastern Retina Associates is one of 100 sites across the country partnering with the National Institutes of Health in a study on the latest injectable eye treatment to see if it works better than the gold standard, laser therapy.
"In five years you can be blind, or you can try this," Parker said, recalling what the doctor told him. "In five years you can be blind, or you can try this," Parker said, recalling what the doctor told him.
"If you do not treat diabetic retinopathy and it progresses, it can lead to permanent damage to the back of the eye and in some cases, blindness," said ophthalmologist Dr. Steve Perkin. "If you do not treat diabetic retinopathy and it progresses, it can lead to permanent damage to the back of the eye and in some cases, blindness," said ophthalmologist Dr. Steve Perkin.
The new study is finding out whether a new medication called Eyelea works better long-term than laser treatment. The new study is finding out whether a new medication called Eyelea works better long-term than laser treatment.

By LORI TUCKER
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A new clinical trial is enrolling patients who have vision trouble related to diabetes.

Southeastern Retina Associates is one of 100 sites across the country partnering with the National Institutes of Health in a study on the latest injectable eye treatment to see if it works better than the gold standard, laser therapy.

Patient Julius Parker was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes a little over a year ago.

"In five years you can be blind, or you can try this," Parker said, recalling what the doctor told him.

Parker suffers from leakage of blood vessels in the retina, a complication of diabetic retinopathy.

"If you do not treat diabetic retinopathy and it progresses, it can lead to permanent damage to the back of the eye and in some cases, blindness. Complete blindness," said ophthalmologist Dr. Steve Perkin.

Parker is taking part in another clinical trial.

The new study is finding out whether a new medication called Eyelea works better long-term than laser treatment.

Patients taking part in the study will get either injections or the laser, or a combination of the two. Some patients will receive placebo injections.

Dr. Perkins is looking for diabetics who still have pretty good vision.

Julius is relieved that, so far, his eyesight seem to be improving thanks to injections that during the clinical trial are free.

There are other costs involving regular eye care that the patient may be responsible for.

To find out if you qualify for the clinical trial, call (865) 588-0811.

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