Diabetic retinopathy

A problem presented at the UK MMSG Imperial College 2009.

Presented by:
Mr Alexander Foss (Queen's Medical Centre, University of Nottingham)
HM Byrne, AJE Foss, CL Hall, LD Hazelwood, Z Ismail, YP Lo, LM Macdougall, JPG Panovska-Griffiths, JP Ward, SD Webb

Problem Description

Diabetic retinopathy, the commonest cause of blindness in people of working age is a direct consequence of raised blood glucose levels. Tight blood sugar control normally prevents development of this complication. This makes understanding retinal glucose metabolism of great clinical significance.

The aim of this problem is to develop a network model of retinal metabolism and then use it to investigate the impact of raised blood glucose and breakdown of the blood–retinal barrier on the network.

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Study Group Report

The study group formulated a network model of retinal metabolism. The impact of raised blood glucose and of blood–retinal barrier breakdown (both separately and together) on the network were then investigated.

Two alternative modelling approaches were proposed for modelling retinal metabolism: a reaction kinetic approach, based on standard ODE modelling, and a thermodynamic approach based on the equilibrium properties of reactions. We chose to progress the modelling using both approaches simultaneously. Section 2 of the report gives an ODE model of retinal metabolism, and our progress using the thermodynamic approach is described in section 3. Section 4 gives a comparison between the two approaches, and finally we draw conclusions and state ideas for future work in section 5.

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Follow-Up Activities

The following follow-up meetings have occured to continue work on aspects of this problem:

2010 Diabetic Retinopathy Followup Meeting
Thursday 28th January 2010, University of Nottingham