Page 35 - March 2018 Senior Scene Magazine
P. 35

Senior Scene® | March Issue
Treating Macular Degeneration Stem Cell Research Dr. Ganiban & Dr. Vaishnav The Eye Institute
“While stem cell research is still in its early stages, we have a great deal to be hopeful about going forward in treating wet macular degeneration,” reports Dr. Ganiban, who completed a prestigious Fellowship in Medical and Surgical Treatment of Vitreoretinal diseases at Louisiana State University. Dr. Ganiban and his partner, retina specialist Hetal D. Vaishnav, MD, were among the first eye physicians to adopt the latest generation of medications, including Avastin, Lucentis, Eylea and Macugen, as well as various laser therapies to slow the progression of, and in some cases begin to reverse the effects of, macular degeneration.
“Both myself and Dr. Vaishnav are following the latest research and developments in stem cell research very closely,” Dr. Ganiban explains. “Thus far, it appears that the implantation of stem cells in the eye is a safe procedure. The human body is not having an immune response that would lead to the rejection of these new cells. Patients involved in the trials have experienced new growth of retinal cells instead of progressively losing more cells, which is what would have happened in the absence of treatment. Patients are reporting enhanced peripheral vision.
While stem cell therapy is not a “cure” for blindness that has already occurred, the hope is that through further research, scientists and physicians may be able to apply therapies that slow or halt the progression of the much more common dry form of macular degeneration. Should this become possible, early detection will be the key to maintaining vision and quality of life for affected patients.
To schedule a comprehensive eye examination with one of the specialists at The Eye Institute for Medicine & Surgery, call 321- 722-4443.
VA National Cemeteries Pre-Need Determinations Dennis Vannorsdall Brevard County
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides eligibility determinations for interment in a VA national cemetery prior to the time of need. Through the Pre-Need Determination of Eligibility Program, upon request, individuals can learn if they are eligible for burial or memorialization in a VA national cemetery.
Interested individuals may submit VA Form 40-10007, Application for Pre-Need Determination of Eligibility for Burial in a VA National Cemetery, and supporting documentation, such as DD Form 214, if readily available, to the VA National Cemetery Scheduling Office by toll-free fax at 1-855-8299, or mail to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office, P.O. Box 510543, St. Louis, MO 63151.
VA will review applications and provide written notice of its determination of eligibility. VA will save determinations and supporting documentation in an electronic information system to expedite burial arrangements at the time of need. Because laws and personal circumstances change, upon receipt of a burial request, VA will validate all pre-need determinations in accordance with the laws in effect at the time.
Eligible individuals are entitled to burial in any open VA national cemetery, opening/closing of the grave, a grave liner, perpetual care of the gravesite, and a government-furnished headstone or marker or niche cover, all at no cost to the family. Veterans are also eligible for a burial flag and may be eligible for a Presidential Memorial Certificate.
Information on VA burial benefits is available from local VA national cemetery offices, from the Internet at, or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000.
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