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Aspirin may prevent Diabetic Retinopathy

Initial results of new research suggest that aspirin,taken at relatively low doses, can prevent microangiopathy (a disease affecting small blood vessels).  The study found that aspirin at relatively low concentrations prevented microangiopathy in rats. However, study investigators said that before they can recommend the use of aspirin for diabetic retinopathy, they still need to know the minimal dose in which aspirin would be effective, and which processes in the retinal vessel it targets.

Researchers compared the effects of clopidogrel, an anti-platelet agent, with that of aspirin in rats. It was found that aspirin at doses well below the anti-inflammatory range for humans prevented apoptosis (programmed cell death) of capillary cells and the development of acellular capillaries. Clopidogrel did not present either of the said effects of aspirin.

Aspirin is well recommended by most physicians for the prevention of cardiovascular disease especially when the patients already have one addi- E tional risk factor. Study investigators ~ conclude that diabetic patients may do a well to follow the aspirin therapy as “it o may have benefits that extend to the 3 retinal vessels.”

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