Soon Cataract can be cured by drug instead of surgery, Anglia Ruskin University researcher leads work on an anti-cataract active drug, which shows promising results in laboratory tests.
Cataracts can now only be cured by surgery, but the current breakthrough is that the new treatment which is very promising after laboratory tests indicates that the condition can now be treated with drugs
Barbara Pierscionek of Anglia Ruskin University is co-author of the study published on May 2, 2022 in the peer-reviewed journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science.
Age-related cataracts are a collection of proteins over time in the lens that slowly clog the eye. The proteins influence your ability to see with clarity, and clouded triggers must be surgically removed. About 24.4 million residents in the U.S that is age 40 or older have cataracts, according to the national eye institute.
The three main types of Cataracts are either nuclear cataracts, or both cortical or posterior subcapsular cataracts.
A team of international scientists, led by Professor Barbara Pierscionek, Deputy Dean (Research and Innovation) in the Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care at Anglia Ruskin University, have been carrying out advanced optical tests on an oxysterol compound that had been proposed as an anti-cataract drug.
In laboratory trials, treatment with the oxysterol compound VP1-001 showed an improvement in refractive index profiles – a key optical parameter that is needed to maintain high focusing capacity – in 61% of lenses. This means that the protein organization of the lens is being restored, resulting in the lens being better able to focus. This was supported by a reduction in lens opacity in 46% of cases.
Professor Pierscionek, who is also a member of the Medical Technology Research Centre at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said: “This study has shown the positive effects of a compound that had been proposed as an anti-cataract drug but never before tested on the optics of the lens. It is the first research of this kind in the world.
“It has shown that there is a remarkable difference and improvement in optics between eyes with the same type of cataract that was treated with the compound compared to those that were not.
“Improvements occurred in some types of cataracts but not in all indicating that this may be a treatment for specific cataracts. This suggests distinctions may need to be made between cataract types when developing anti-cataract medications. It is a significant step forward towards treating this extremely common condition with drugs rather than surgery.”
Reference: “Oxysterol Compounds in Mouse Mutant αA- and αB-Crystallin Lenses Can Improve the Optical Properties of the Lens” by Kehao Wang, Masato Hoshino, Kentaro Uesugi, Naoto Yagi, Barbara K Pierscionek and Usha P Andley, 2 May 2022, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.
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