Eye drop vs Cataract? Breakthrough: Cataract Treatment could bid farewell to the era of surgery

Is eye drop the new hope to end the domination of surgery in cataract cure? - Zoomax

Is eye drop the new hope to end the domination of surgery in cataract cure? pic via telegraph.co.uk


In the United states,more than half of the elderly aged over 70 suffer from cataract, a decease due to protein denaturation and aggregation within the lens of the eye caused by the formation of clumps (details about cataract, pls check here). So far there still has not been any medical treatment for cataract. The only method can be found through surgery (which makes cataract an "easier" ailment to cope with according to the big amount of incurable severe eye diseases e.g. glaucoma and retinitis pigmentosa). However, due to the expensive surgery and backward medical condition and other factors, there are still more than 20 million cataract patients eventually blindness in the world.


The latest promotion in eye diseases treatment is stem cell research which has been proved valid on treatment of macular degeneration: Stem Cell Research Shows Promise in Eye Disease Treatment. About cataract, there is a study published in Nature magazine. One team of scientists and ophthalmologists who by detecting a new treatment regimen in dogs found that eye drops containing some steroids can improve with cataracts lens transparency in dogs.


For now, scientists may not fully explain how the formation of cataracts, however, to a certain extent, they know so-called the "fog", which is a mass of broken proteins sticking together. They call it as lens proteins to keep the lens structure and transparency.


In the issue of Nature magazine, these researchers pointed out that the lens proteins closely packed ordered. It is the key to maintain the transparency of lens. Any disorder or abnormal accumulation will lead to decrease lens transparency then resulting in the formation of cataracts. And it is still a mystery on the key regulatory mechanism about the lens protein abnormal aggregation and depolymerization.


It was reported that researchers in both congenital cataract family study found in normal lens lanosterol (a significant body of steroid), as a key molecule in the prevention of lens protein aggregation and points to a novel strategy for cataract prevention and treatment. Based on the discovery, the researchers use eye drops containing lanosterol in dogs suffering from cataract. After 6 weeks of treatment, the severity of cataract declined. "We saw an increase in the lens transparency and also decreased cloudiness of the cataract," said Dr. Kang Zhang, professor of ophthalmology at UCSD, leader of the research team.


Cataract, as the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment around the world, there is no effective treatment but to rely on the surgery, containing to much inevitable the risks of surgery. The new discovery identifies lanosterol as a key molecule in the prevention of lens protein aggregation and points to a novel strategy for cataract prevention and treatment. It definitely is a blessing for cataract sufferers.



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