Thu, 15 Oct, 2015
You can cure cataracts with eye drops
Cataracts are one of the primary causes of blindness, but a study has shown that they may be treatable with a simple solution: eye drops.
A study, published in Nature demonstrated that a solution containing a natural steroid call lanosterol can effectively decrease cataracts in dogs.
The research, led by the University of California-San Diego, worked based on the knowledge that cataracts develop when the structure of the lens’ crystalline proteins are disrupted and sequentially clumped. This causes them to grow cloudy, or creates what we know as cataracts.
The eye’s lens contains a molecule called lanosterol, which is present in many natural steroids found in the body. The study discovered that children who had inherited cataracts all had a gene mutation that caused a blockage of this lanosterol synthase.
In the study, researchers tested both human lens cells and live dogs and rabbits, giving them a solution containing lanosterol by either injection or eye drops.
In all scenarios, the solution caused a significant decrease in protein clumping in the lenses.
In conclusion, the researchers stated their findings:
"Our study identifies lanosterol as a key molecule in the prevention of lens protein aggregation and points to a novel strategy for cataract prevention and treatment."