July 23, 2024

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Drug treatment for cataracts may soon be a reality

Drug treatment for cataracts may soon be a reality


Drug treatment for cataracts may soon be a reality.

Experts from Anglia Ruskin University have led work on an anti-cataract drug that has shown encouraging results in laboratory tests.

Currently, cataracts can only be cured by surgery.

However, a groundbreaking new treatment for cataracts has yielded incredibly positive results in laboratory tests, suggesting the disease may soon be treatable with drugs.


Drug treatment for cataracts may soon be a reality

Barbara Pierscionek, associate dean of the School of Health, Education , Medicine and Social Care at Anglia Ruskin University and a co-author of the study


The results of the study were published May 2, 2022 in the peer-reviewed journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences.


A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye that can impair the quality of vision over time.

It is caused by a disorder of proteins in the lens, causing protein clumps to build up that scatter light and greatly limit transmission to the retina.

Cataracts affect about 24.4 million Americans age 40 or older, according to estimates by the National Eye Institute.

Nuclear sclerosing cataract, cortical cataract and posterior cystic cataract are the three main types of cataract.


An international team of scientists, led by Professor Barbara Pierscionek, Associate Dean (Research and Innovation), School of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University, has been investigating an oxidative drug once proposed as an anti-cataract drug. Advanced optical testing of sterol compounds.



Drug treatment for cataracts may soon be a reality



In laboratory tests, treatment with the oxysterol compound VP1-001 showed an improvement in the refractive index profile of 61 percent of the lenses — a key optical parameter required to maintain high focusing power.

This means that the protein organization of the lens is restored, resulting in the lens being able to focus better. This is also supported by a reduction in lens opacity in 46% of cases.


Professor Pierscionek is also a member of the Medical Technology Research Centre at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), he said. “This study shows the positive effects of a compound that has been proposed as an anti-cataract drug but has never been tested in lens optics before. This is the first study of its kind in the world.”


“It showed that eyes with the same type of cataract treated with the compound showed significant differences and improvements in optics compared to eyes not treated with the compound.”


“There was improvement in some types of cataracts, but not all, suggesting that this may be a treatment for a specific cataract. This suggests that a distinction between cataract types may be needed when developing anti-cataract drugs. This is an important step towards treating this extremely common disease with drugs rather than surgery.”





Drug treatment for cataracts may soon be a reality

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