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Andi Abeshi, Vincenza Precone, Tommaso Beccari, Munis Dundar, Benedetto Falsini and Matteo Bertelli

Abstract

Inherited eye diseases are a group of conditions with genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity. Advances in ocular genetic research have provided insights into the genetic basis of many eye diseases. Genetic and technological progress is improving the management and care of patients with inherited eye diseases. Diagnostic laboratories continue to develop strategies with high specificity and sensitivity that reduce the costs and time required for genetic testing. The introduction of next generation sequencing technologies has significantly advanced the identification of new gene candidates and has expanded the scope of genetic testing. Gene therapy offers an important opportunity to target causative genetic mutations. There are clinical trials of treatments involving vector-based eye gene therapies, and a significant number of loci and genes now have a role in the diagnosis and treatment of human eye diseases. Applied genetic technology heralds the development of individualized treatments, ushering ophthalmology into the field of personalized medicine. Many therapeutic strategies have demonstrated efficacy in preclinical studies and have entered the clinical trial phase. In this paper we review the topic of genetic testing in inherited eye diseases. We provide some background information about genetic counseling and genetic testing in ophthalmology and discuss how genetic testing can be helpful to patients and families with inherited eye diseases.

Open access

Andi Abeshi, Vincenza Precone, Tommaso Beccari, Munis Dundar, Benedetto Falsini and Matteo Bertelli

Abstract

The main constituents of the genus Sideritis are various terpenoids, sterols, coumarins, flavonoid aglycones and glycosides. Sideritis species have been traditionally used as infusions or flavoring agents and in medicine as anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antispasmodic and analgesic agents. This paper includes the following sections: Introduction, Description and distribution of Sideritis spp, Pharmacological effects, Toxicity tests, Rationale for use of Sideritis spp. in ophthalmology and Conclusions. The aim is to provide a comprehensive overview on the botanical, phytochemical and pharmacological aspects of the genus Sideritis, and to establish the scientific basis of its pharmacological use. New approaches to using officinal plants have recently yielded significant results. The paper also reviews this information and provides a critical view on the options for exploiting the potential of Sideritis spp. in ophthalmology.

Open access

Vincenza Precone, Munis Dundar, Tommaso Beccari, Eda Tahir Turanli, Stefano Cecchin, Giuseppe Marceddu, Elena Manara and Matteo Bertelli

Abstract

Analytical laboratory results greatly influence medical diagnosis, about 70% of medical decisions are based on laboratory results. Quality assurance and quality control are designed to detect and correct errors in a laboratory’s analytical process to ensure both the reliability and accuracy of test results. Unreliable performance can result in misdiagnosis and delayed treatment. Furthermore, improved quality guarantees increased productivity at a lower cost. Quality assurance programmes include internal quality control, external quality assessment, proficiency surveillance and standardization. It is necessary to try to ensure compliance with the requirements of the standards at all levels of the process. The sources of these standards are the International Standards Organization (ISO), national standards bodies, guidelines from professional organisations, accreditation bodies and governmental regulations. Laboratory networks increase the performance of laboratories in support of diagnostic screening programme. It is essential that genetic laboratories of a network have procedures underpinned by a robust quality assurance system to minimize errors and to reassure the clinicians and the patients that international standards are being met. This article provides an overview of the bases of quality assurance and its importance in genetic tests and it reports the EBTNA quality assurance system which is a clear and simple system available for access to adequate standardization of a genetic laboratory’s network.