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   Table of Contents      
OPHTHALMOLOGY PRACTICE
Year : 1995  |  Volume : 43  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 45-46

Collaboration between the national eye institute and Indian scientists in vision research


Carl Kupfer is the Director of the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

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Carl Kupfer
Carl Kupfer is the Director of the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 8522372

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How to cite this article:
Kupfer C. Collaboration between the national eye institute and Indian scientists in vision research. Indian J Ophthalmol 1995;43:45-6

How to cite this URL:
Kupfer C. Collaboration between the national eye institute and Indian scientists in vision research. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1995 [cited 2019 Oct 23];43:45-6. Available from: http://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1995/43/1/45/25278

In December, 1979, I began a WHO Consultancy to review the status of ophthalmic research in several Indian institutions. As a result of this experience, it became clear that there were many important research opportunities that interested both the staff of the National Eye Institute (NEI) and several Indian ophthalmologists and laboratory researchers. I returned in October, 1980 to the National Institute of Nutrition in Hyderabad to establish research protocols dealing with the major public health problem of xerophthalmia and keratomalacia. With funding from both the American and Indian governments, a series of collaborations resulted in published papers dealing with the role of measles, diarrhoea, mild vitamin A deficiency, new diagnostic tests for vitamin A deficiency and evaluating vitamin A programmes.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] This new information changed diagnostic and treatment patterns of children with vitamin A deficiency and contributed to focussing treatment for those children at greatest risk of blindness.

It soon became evident that cataract was a major cause of visual disability, accounting for as much as 50% of all blindness. A preliminary collaborative effort in 1982[8] led to a more extensive project, the India-US Case-Control Study. As a result of this effort, several risk factors for cataract were identified and further research efforts were directed into testing specific hypotheses. [9, 10] It is of interest that at the same time this study was being conducted in India, other case-control studies were being carried out in the United States and Italy. Along with the question of causation of cataract was the concern that there appeared to be barriers to the cataract blind person coming forward for surgery. To determine what these barriers might be and how they could be overcome, two important studies were conducted that helped to improve the eye care delivery system by testing various strategies.[11],[12]

Most recently, the question of reducing childhood mortality and morbidity with a small weekly dose of vitamin A was answered in the affirmative and now represents an alternative strategy to massive vitamin A dose every 6 months.[13],[14]

Last but not least, a clinical trial of photocoagulation in the treatment of Eales' disease as well as biochemical and immunological studies of these patients was carried out.[15][16][17] Photocoagulation with the laser is now the standard of treatment for this condition and laboratory research continues to clarify the underlying mechanism.

The years ahead will continue to see an expansion of collaborative activities. This can benefit not only India and the United States but the entire world. Research is universal and the results are shared by all.

 
  References Top

1.
Milton RC. Evaluation of the efficacy of programmes for the control of xerophthalmia. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 35:140-145, 1982.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Reddy V, Bhaskaram P, Raghuramulu N, et al. Relationship between measles, malnutrition, and blindness: A prospective study in Indian children. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 44:924-930, 1986.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Reddy V, Raghuramulu N, Arunjyoti, et al. Absorption of vitamin A by children with diarrhoea during treatment with oral rehydration salt solution. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 64:721-724, 1986.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Milton RC, Reddy V, Naidu AN. Mild vitamin A deficiency and childhood morbidity - An Indian experience. American Journal of clinical Nutrition 46:827-829, 1987.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Rao V, Friend J, Thoft RA, et al. Conjunctival globlet cells and mitotic rate in children with measles and vitamin A deficiency. Arch Ophthalmol 105:378-80, 1987.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Arroyave G, Baltazar J, Kusin J, et al. Methodologies for monitoring and evaluating vitamin A deficiency intervention programs. A Report of the International Vitamin A Consultative Group (IVACG). Washington D.C., July, 1989.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Sharma S, Underwood BA. Evaluation of goblet cells in conjunctival impression cytology by multiple step and and two-step staining techniques. Indian Journal of Medical Research 90:233-6, 1989.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Chatterjee A, Milton RC, Thyle S. Prevalence and aetiology of cataract in Punjab. Br J Ophthalmol 66:35-42, 1982.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Milton RC, Mohan M, Sperduto RD. Indo-US case-control study of senile cataract - Design and development. In: Straub (ed.), Developments in Ophthalmology. Basel, Switzerland. Vol 15, pp. 92-98, 1987.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Mohan M, Sperduto RD, Angra SK, et al. India Us-Case-control Study Group India -US case control study of age-related cataracts. Arch Ophthalmol 107:670-676, 1989.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Brilliant GE, Thulasiraj RD. Social determinates of cataract surgery utilization in South India. Arch Ophthalmol 109:584, 1991.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Ellwein LB, Thulasiraj RD. The cost effectiveness of strategies to reduce barriers to cataract surgery. International Ophthalmology 15:175, 1991.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Rahmathullah L, Underwood BA, Thulasiraj RD, et al. Reduced mortality among children in southern Indian receiving a small weekly dose of vitamin A. New England Journal of Medicine 323:929-935, 1990.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Rahmathullah L, Underwood BA, Thulasiraj RD, et al. Diarrhoea, respiratory infections, and growth are not affected by a weekly low-dose vitamin A supplement: A masked controlled field trial in south Indian children. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 54:568-577, 1991.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Das T, Namperumalsamy P. Photocoagulation in Eales' Disease. Journal of Tamil Nadu Ophthalmic Association 28 (1), 1990.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Rengarajan K, Muthukkaruppan VR, Namperumalsamy P. Biochemical analysis of serum proteins from Eales' patients. Current Eye Research 8(12):1259-1269, 1989.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.
Muthukkaruppan VR, Rengarajan K, Chakkalath, et al. Immunological status of patients of Eales' disease. Indian Journal of Medical Research 90:351-359, 1989.  Back to cited text no. 17
    




 

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