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Free radicals in cornea may contribute to Fuchs dystrophy, most common cause of corneal transplants
Date:1/31/2011

ree radical process might be part of what is happening within the Fuchs dystrophy-plagued cornea. Free radicals are unstable molecules released by the body, which destabilize other molecules through a process known as oxidization, which causes cell death. Antioxidants are known to bind with and neutralize free radicals.

To test the theory, Jurkunas and her colleagues took numerous tissue samples from patients undergoing corneal transplants and tested them for evidence of free radical oxidation and subsequent tissue damage.

In the significant majority of specimens, the scientists found that the level of antioxidants was less than normal (or down-regulated). They also found evidence of high rates of damage to the cells' DNA, which is particularly susceptible to free radicals.

According to Jurkunas, the next step is to identify the specific antioxidants that would neutralize the free radicals involved in the damage and, therefore, could prevent or block their destructive action.

What should patients do in the meantime? While no conclusions should be drawn from these early results, Jurkunas recommends that patients at risk for Fuchs eat a healthy diet rich in leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, take multivitamins and wear UV protection outdoors.


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Contact: Patti Jacobs
pjacobs12@comcast.net
617-864-2712
Schepens Eye Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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