Asthma medication stalls diabetic eye disease

US researchers report that montelukast inhibits early diabetic retinopathy changes in mice


New research suggests that a type of asthma medication could be investigated as a method of counteracting diabetic eye disease.

Researchers from University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine found that the asthma medication montelukast (Singulair) can inhibit early changes in diabetic retinopathy.

Writing in Diabetes, scientists describe how mice with diabetes were given the medication and diabetes-related retinal pathology was measured. A control group of mice with diabetes did not receive the medication.

The authors report that after nine months, the retinal microvasculature of untreated mice had a greater degree of degeneration than those that received montelukast.

“Montelukast inhibited the diabetes-induced capillary and neuronal degeneration, whether administered as a prevention strategy, immediately following induction of diabetes, or as an intervention strategy,” they highlighted.

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