No cataract surgery? Just a new medicine drop can work say scientists
Are you petrified of the needle prick needed for the cataract surgery or are you delaying that much-needed operation since forever because of financial constraints? You don’t have to struggle with your eye sight anymore, just loosen your purse strings, and you may be able to avail chemical eye drops to clear up cataracts, say the researchers.
A research team which included a scientist of Indian-origin, have come out with a chemical that can be amalgamated with eye drops and then administered in the eyes of the cataract patient.
Cataract is the main cause of blindness and this cataract may be cleared by these eye drops added with the chemical claim researchers of a recent study. Cataract surgery is an expensive procedure and plenty of people find the procedure unaffordable.
Researchers have claimed that “most individuals blinded by severe cataracts in developing countries go untreated, though this is a common medical condition experienced by the aging population. Crucial proteins fold and clump together wrongly in neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
In cataracts these crucial proteins that get affected are termed as Crystallins. The cyrstallins that contribute to the eye lenses can be easily damaged. They are an integral part of the fibre cells and form the lenses of the eyes so we need to protect them, confirms, the senior co-author of the research, Jason Gestwicki, from University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
Lead authors of this new study Leah N Makley and Kathryn McMenimen, researched and found out that there is a huge difference between the crystallins that have been folded properly and their amyloid forms, which melt with great efforts. The amyloids were treated with heat and applied with a lot of chemical compounds, in a method called HT-DSF or high-throughput differential scanning fluorimetry, by the research team, at the Centre for Chemical Genomics at University of Michigan to get results.
Almost 2,450 compounds were used for application on the crystallins and the researchers gave the nod for 12 sterols. Lanosterol, one of the compounds showed amazing results in cataract reversal in 2015 June. The team decided to inject this chemical compound into eye to see its benefits because of Lanosterol’s limited solubility.
The Gestwicki’s research team tested about 32 additional sterols, and selected “compound 29,” to be used as a soluble compound that could be added with the eye drops that could help dissolve, cataracts. The compound 29 that was used in lab tests established that the crystallins could be stabilized with this Compound 29, and amyloids could be stopped from forming. The present amyloids could also be dissolved with medication, stated the researchers.
An eye-drop formulation created with Compund 29 was tried on mutated mice that showed a predisposition to cataracts. Usha P Andley, an Indian-origin professor at Washington University in St Louis (WUSTL), who was a part of the team, collectively found out with her colleagues that transparency could be restored to the cataract affected lens in mice, on a partial basis. The same experiment was tried out on mice who had developed cataract naturally with age and those who had undergone cataract surgery. The details of the research can be studied in the journal Science.
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