An interesting project about diabetic retinopathy has been recently awarded by the Italian Minister of Health in the #NextGenerationUE program framework. The project “Early Retinal Neurodegeneration as Risk Factor, Biomarker and Pharmacological Target of Diabetic Retinopathy” address a serious complication of diabetes that could lead to blindness.

The team is led by the San Raffaele Hospital and is formed by several leading institutions like the Italian institute of technology (IIT), the University Hospital Policlinico G. Martino – Messina and the University Hospital “Santa Maria della Misericordia” – Udine.

The project has two principal aims:

1) to improve the clinical follow-up of patients affected by diabetic retinopathy by improving diagnostic protocols and clinical practice.

2) to test Saffron Repron® on animal model as a potential therapeutical agent for diabetic retinopathy.

Dr Stefano Di Marco at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genova and Prof. Zerbini at the San Raffaele Hospital will conduct this fundamental study using cutting-edge technology, like the 3Brain CMOS-based high-density multielectrode array.

Recently, it has been discovered that the retinal vasculature deficit, a typical landmark of this pathology, is preceded by the death of a small population of retinal ganglion cells.

Saffron Repron can modulate several metabolic pathways like the inhibition of the purinergic P2X7 channel, which plays an essential role in the neuro-vasculature coupling and the endocannabinoid system, which can modulate both synaptic transmission (reducing glutamate excitotoxicity) and inflammatory/apoptotic pathways.

Looking forward to see the first results of this promising research giving hope to the many people affected by diabetes and retinopathy.

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