Popular Weight Loss Drugs Linked to Rare Form of Blindness and More

by Daisy

Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (NAION) Linked to Weight Loss and Diabetes Drugs

A recent study has revealed a concerning link between widely prescribed weight loss and diabetes medications and a rare condition that can cause blindness. The drugs, which include semaglutide-based medications like Ozempic and Wegovy, have been found to potentially lead to non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), a form of eye stroke resulting in sudden, painless vision loss in one eye.

Published in JAMA Ophthalmology, the study highlights:

Increased Risk for Diabetic Patients: People with diabetes on semaglutide are four times more likely to develop NAION.
Higher Risk for Overweight or Obese Individuals: Those taking semaglutide for weight loss are seven times more likely to experience this condition.
NAION, while rare, affects approximately 10 out of every 100,000 individuals. It involves blockage of the arteries supplying blood to the optic nerve, leading to oxygen deprivation and subsequent damage to the nerve.


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In other medical news, the FDA has approved a new medication for Alzheimer’s disease. The drug, Kisunla, developed by Eli Lilly, is a monoclonal antibody aimed at slowing the early stages of the disease by removing brain plaque. This approval brings new hope to the roughly seven million Americans aged 65 and older who are living with Alzheimer’s.


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A Harvard University study has underscored the importance of diet in midlife, revealing that healthy eating patterns in one’s 40s significantly increase the likelihood of living to at least age 70 with good cognitive, mental, and physical health. The study analyzed 30 years of data from over 100,000 participants, maintaining a strong link between diet and healthy aging even when accounting for physical activity and other factors.


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