The human lens is comprised largely of crystallin proteins assembled into a highly ordered, interactive macro-structure essential for lens transparency and refractive index. Any disruption of intra- or inter-protein interactions will alter this delicate structure, exposing hydrophobic surfaces, with consequent protein aggregation and cataract formation. Cataracts are the most common cause of blindness worldwide, affecting tens of millions of people1, and currently the only treatment is surgical removal of cataractous lenses.
Researchers at University of California San Diego have identified lanosterol as a key molecule in the prevention of cataract formation that points to a novel strategy for cataract prevention and non-surgical treatment. The abstract is freely available fromNature. If you have cataracts, you might want to purchase a full reprint while you can still read it.
Similar eye drops have been used to treat cataracts in Europe for many years.
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