Based on a recent study conducted by professionals at the University of San Diego, eye drops can cure cataracts; thus reducing treatment costs for patients. The experiment was conducted on dogs and due to its good results, scientists plan to carry out additional tests on human respondents in the future.
Cataracts is a common disease of the eye, presupposing the clouding of the lens in the eye and, eventually, the partial or total loss of vision. Older patients are more likely to develop cataracts, but there have been also cases when patients have been diagnosed with this disease as a result of a trauma or a radiation incident.
Some people are also born with this disease, while others experience the first symptoms at an older age due to diabetes and various addictions. The need of a new treatment has become all the more obvious, given that approximately 51% of the world population is suffering from cataract-related blindness, that is, 20 million people.
Scientists at the University of San Diego have made the first step in this direction through the recent experiment they have conducted. For the current study they have used lanosterol, a steroid that is said to have preceded cholesterol.
The experiment saw the successful treatment of dogs and the replacement of rabbit lenses; therefore, scientists have concluded that lanosterol-based eye drops could soon replace the expensive eye operation that has been used so far for the treatment of this disease.
According to researchers, lanosterol has cleared cataract-affected eyes by dissolving the mutant cells on the lenses. Once these abnormal cells have been removed, the eye and the vision became clear again thanks to clear proteins.
Scientists hope their study could soon lead to the introduction of a new operation-free treatment for cataracts, although many more researches will have to be conducted in the area until the effectiveness of the cure will eventually be acknowledged. The new treatment could significantly reduce operation costs, which have been estimated at $3,200 in 2013.
The findings of the new study were published in the journal Nature.
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