Saturday, June 25, 2022

The drug treatment of cataracts is one step closer – study

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New research suggests a new treatment could pave the way for cataract treatment with drugs instead of the surgery currently required.

Cataracts occur when the lens, the small transparent disk in your eye, develops cloudy protein patches, causing vision loss and blindness for millions worldwide.

A team of international scientists led by Professor Barbara Pierscionek of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has conducted advanced testing on a compound proposed as an anti-cataract drug.

In laboratory tests on mice, treatment with the oxysterol compound VP1-001 has been shown to restore the protein organization of the lens, resulting in the lens being able to focus better.

This was supported by a reduction in turbidity in 46% of cases.

Researchers say there was a notable improvement in eyes treated with the compound.

They suggest the results represent a significant step towards treating the condition with drugs rather than surgery.

Professor Pierscionek, associate dean of the Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Welfare at ARU said: “This study has demonstrated the positive effects of a compound that has been proposed as an anti-cataract drug but has never been tested before on the optics of the lens.

“It is the first research of this kind worldwide.

“It has been shown that there is a notable difference and improvement in appearance between eyes with the same type of cataract that have been treated with the compound compared to those that have not.

“Improvements have occurred in some types of cataracts but not all, suggesting this may be a treatment for certain cataracts.

“This suggests that the development of anti-cataract drugs may need to differentiate between cataract types.

“This is a significant step towards treating this extremely common condition with drugs rather than surgery.”

The results are published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science.

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