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Literature-related discovery techniques applied to ocular disease: a vitreous restoration example

Kostoff, Ronald N.a; Los, Leonoor I.b,c

Current Opinion in Ophthalmology: November 2013 - Volume 24 - Issue 6 - p 606–610
doi: 10.1097/ICU.0b013e3283654def

Purpose of review Literature-related discovery and innovation (LRDI) is a text mining approach for bridging unconnected disciplines to hypothesize radical discovery. Application to medical problems involves identifying key disease symptoms, and identifying causes and treatments for those symptoms from throughout the biomedical literature. LRDI has not been applied to vitreoretinal ophthalmological problems previously. This review illustrates the use of LRDI for potential restoration of degenerated vitreous.

Recent findings Vitreous restoration literature is very small; much research is aimed at vitreous composition and degradation, improving vitrectomy, and pharmacological vitreolysis. LRDI has the potential to find ways to slow, halt, or reverse the degradation through systemic improvement and myriad local treatments, some not ordinarily used by the ophthalmology community.

Summary The many potential discoveries and innovations were generated within a larger context, namely that timely healing required cause removal, healing obstacle removal, and healing acceleration (focused treatments) in an integrated manner. Although many potential causes, healing obstacles, and healing accelerations were identified strictly from the premier published literature, causes and obstacles that may have been operable but were not found in the literature were also postulated, as were gaps in the research that covered these potential causes and obstacles and unresearched treatments as well.

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aGeorgia Institute of Technology, School of Public Policy, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

bDepartment of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen

cW.J. Kolff institute, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands

Correspondence to Ronald N. Kostoff, PhD, 13500 Tallyrand Way, Gainesville, VA 20155, USA. Tel: +1 571 248 2661; e-mail:;

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© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins