1Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania
Abstract Patients with diabetic retinopathy have a severe visual impairment, but in recent years, the treatment of vision-impairing complications such as diabetic macular edema and proliferative diabetic retinopathy has improved significantly. The problem of diabetic retinopathy is observed worldwide. Other additional alternative treatments are needed to stop the mechanisms why blood vessels, neurons, and glial cells break and lose its function. It has been shown that diabetes affects the retinal nerve-vascular layer and associated vascular, neuronal, glial and immune cells significantly. Knowledge of this allows scientists and doctors to learn new strategies on how to treat retinal neuronal dysfunction, and also help to solve problems with vascular ischemia, blood flow disorders, and abnormal vessel growth. New achievements, combined with prevention and innovation can improve the condition of diabetic retinopathy sufferers, taking into account the individual situation of each patient.
Diabetic retinopathy is a disease of small retinal vessels and is the most common complication of diabetes. If lesions in blood vessels of the retina are found, then diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed. Scientists all around the world are looking for new treatment strategies. Clinical studies suggest that not only small blood vessel changes and retinal degeneration may contribute to the development of diabetic retinopathy in the early stages of the disease. In the future, investigation of the main mechanisms of molecular pathogenesis may help to overcome the disease by directing the active substances to stop the chain of chemical reactions leading to the development of the disease. This article discusses current perceptions into the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy, as well as reviewing patient treatment options.
Keywords: diabetic retinopathy, macular edema, diabetes mellitus, damage of the retina.