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OU students are coauthors on a letter to the editor about blindness in premature babies

Saturday, February 9, 2013
OU students are coauthors on a letter to the editor about blindness in premature babies
Two Oakland University students are lead authors on a letter to the editor about retinopathy of prematurity, an eye disease affecting prematurely born babies. First author is Daniela Gismondi, a post bachelor student in the Accelerated Second Degree BSN program in the School of Nursing. Second author is former Biochemistry major Livja Ndoja, who graduated last May. Also contributing to the study is Associate Professor Harvey Qu of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The senior author is Associate Professor Barkur Shastry, of the Department of Biological Sciences. The letter, titled “Lack of Association of VEGF gene 3’-UTR Polymorphisms (C702T, C936T and G1612A) and the Risk of Developing Advanced Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP),” was published in the January 2013 issue of Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology (Volume 251, Pages 413-415). It begins:
“Dear Editor:

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a well-known visual impairment in premature children. It is a disease of developing retinal blood vessels. The condition is a multifactorial disease, and is clinically similar to familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) which occurs in full-term infants. Both of these disorders can cause blindness in young children. While the pathogenesis and etiology of ROP are currently unknown, candidate gene and twin studies suggest that this unpredictability of ROP could be due to genetic factors in addition to environmental factors. However, at present there is no reliable biomarker to predict which premature infant will develop retinal detachment and blindness. The ability to identify a biomarker might allow fewer at-risk babies to be screened at the early stages of the disease.”