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Study suggests new solution to slow worsening of kids’ nearsightedness

A metabolite of caffeine may slow the progression of short-sightedness, or myopia, in children, a new study suggests. Photo courtesy of the National Eye Institute

A metabolite of caffeine may slow the progression of short-sightedness, or myopia, in children, a fresh study suggests. Photo thanks to the National Eye Institute

Aug. 22 (UPI) — Whether it’s shown to be effective and safe in large clinical trials, a metabolite of caffeine may prove valuable in slowing the progression of short-sightedness, or myopia, in children, a fresh study suggests.

The caffeine metabolite, called 7-MX, short for 7-methylxanthine, been used to take care of childhood myopia in Denmark since 2009, but as yet it was not fully evaluated in long-term studies.

The research, exploring how quickly myopia progresses in children who take 7-MX, was published Monday in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Myopia occurs once the eye grows too much time, and research shows that 7-MX inhibits excessive lengthening of the attention, or axial elongation, a news release said.

The problem often starts between at age 6 and 7, progressing until ages 16 to 20. It really is of a heightened threat of conditions that affect vision and eye health, including macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and retinal detachment.

The researchers said existing interventions to regulate nearsightedness, such as for example contact lens-based treatments or the usage of various drugs, aren’t that able to avoiding the condition from worsening in children.

They reviewed the medical records of 711 children, a straight split of kids, treated for myopia at a watch clinic in Denmark between June 2000 and January 2021.

The kids received comprehensive eye tests, including measurement of the eye’s axial length. Then, 624 of these took 7-MX oral tablets as high as 1,200 milligrams daily, averaging 470 mg., while 87 children didn’t take the tablets for various reasons.

They averaged 11 yrs . old if they began treatment, and their eye length and amount of myopia were tracked for three years, typically.

None reported any unwanted effects while taking the procedure.

The researchers discovered that treatment with 7-MX was of a slower rate of worsening myopia and axial elongation, and higher doses seemed far better, the release said.

Researchers calculated that, typically, myopia within an 11 year-old who takes 1,000 mg. of 7-MX daily would increase by -1.43 dioptres — the units of measurement to assess eye function — on the next six years. That weighed against a rise of -2.27 dioptres with no treatment on the same time frame.

Moderately severe myopia is undoubtedly -3.00 dioptres, while -6 dioptres or even more can be regarded as severe myopia, the release said.

The scientists also discovered that the eye’s axial length would increase by 0.84 millimeters when 7-MX is taken versus 1.01 ml. with no treatment.

Because their study was observational, they said they might not take into account “potentially influential factors, such as for example genetic factors, time spent outdoors, ethnicity and time allocated to [close] work.”

So, to determine a causal connection, the researchers urged further study with a randomized, controlled trial to see whether 7-MX could become “a very important supplement.”

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