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Marijuana compound could prevent eye damage in diabetics

FemaleFirst.co.uk, 28th February 2006

Scientists have discovered a compound in marijuana that could protect against eye damage in diabetics.

Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in working-age adults and affects nearly 16 million Americans. It occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels inside the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.

Gregory I. Liou and other researchers of molecular biology at the Medical College of Georgia studied the role of cannabinoid receptors and said the compound they had found could defend against diabetic retinopathy.

Liou studied the compound in diabetic animal models and found that it works to interrupt essentially all destructive points of action that cause vision loss in a diabetic patient, reported the science portal EurekAlert.

He hoped the compound in marijuana may one day be given along with insulin to stop the early changes that set the stage for damaged or destroyed vision.

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