Scientists developed eye drops that help dissolve cataracts
Researchers have recently developed a new drug that will ultimately shrink down and dissolve cataracts -- the leading cause of human blindness that affects tens of millions of people worldwide.
Cataracts cause the lens of the eye to become cloudy over time, but if they are left untreated, they can lead to complete blindness. While cataracts are unable to spread from one eye to another, they can spread independently in each eye.
The studies were performed at the University of California in San Diego, but the drug is yet to be tested on humans. The researchers involved in the study hope to replicate what they have found and implement that in clinical trials to offer an alternative to current cataract treatment -- painful and expensive surgery.
The drug is based off of lanosterol -- a naturally-occuring steroid, and the eye drops were tested in three different kinds of experiments. While they worked with human lenses in the lab, they also tested the drug on rabbits as well as on dogs with naturally occurring cataracts.
The drug was successful in all three experiments, and the results have been published in Nature.
As a next step, the researchers will have to figure out how the eye drops are producing the recorded results, and eventually they will progress their research to human trials.
See the video below for information about how more young people are being diagnosed with cataracts early on:
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