A cheeky solution: Japanese scientists have developed a way to harvest thin sheets of tissue from the inner lining of the cheek to use as corneal grafts. Post-surgery, the four corneas studied were transparent, and visual acuity improved remarkably, as reported in the September 16 New England Journal of Medicine. At one year out, the corneas have remained clear.

The FDA has approved the first implantable contact lens for nearsightedness: the Verisyse lens, produced by Ophtec BV and Advanced Medical Optics. Ophtec says the device will be marketed to nearsighted patients who may not be good candidates for laser surgery. (For more on this lens, see Research Review: Refractive Surgery Beneath the Cornea, page 89.)

Combination treatment of vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acid does not slow the progression of retinitis pigmentosa, according to two articles in Septembers Archives of Ophthalmology. These results contrast with previous studies that have found that vitamin A did slow the decline in retinal function and vision loss. The latest results werent fully conclusive, so the authors still recommend that patients continue vitamin A therapy under medical supervision to try to slow the disease.

Vol. No: 141:10Issue: 10/23/04