Navigation Links
MU researchers find clue to cataract formation
Date:4/17/2008

COLUMBIA, Mo. It is the No. 1 line-item cost of Medicare reimbursement and affects more than 20 million people in the United States. Cataracts, which can have devastating effects on the eye, affect 42 percent of the population between the ages of 70 and 80, and 68 percent of the population over the age of 80, according to the National Eye Institute. Now, a University of Missouri professor has identified an important step in how cataracts form. This discovery, published in a recent edition of The Journal of Biological Chemistry, could lead to a better treatment or cure for cataracts in the future.

In his study, K. Krishna Sharma, professor of ophthalmology at MU, found that a specific type of protein begins to lose function as the eye ages. As the protein loses function, small peptides, made of 10 to 15 amino acids, start forming and accelerate cataract formation in the eye.

It is very helpful to track the formation of these peptides, Sharma said. The next step is to work on preventing their formation. If we are successful, we could delay the aging process in the eye. A ten-year delay in the onset of cataracts could decrease the number of cataract surgeries by 45 percent, thus significantly decreasing vision care cost. Currently, 1.5 million to 2 million cataract surgeries are completed yearly.

About 50 percent of the lens is made of proteins, and 90 percent of the proteins are structures known as crystallins. One of the main functions of the crystallins is to maintain the clarity of the lens through an activity known as chaperoning. In a healthy eye, crystallins break down over time, eventually degrading to small peptides. The peptides are then cleared from the eye with the help of other proteins.

As the eye ages, small peptides start to form at an increasing rate. As the number of small peptides increases in the eye, chaperone activity starts to decrease, resulting in less cleansing activity inside the lens. As the small peptides increase, the eyes lens starts to develop cataracts. There are a variety of causes that lead to the decrease of chaperone activity, and the presence of these small peptides accelerates the process, Sharma said.

Its a very sad situation, because cataracts can have a huge impact on the quality of a persons life, Sharma said. People lose the ability to appreciate visual art and have to learn a new set of skills to navigate. This study will bring us another step closer to understanding how cataracts form in the eye and how best to treat this debilitating disease.

Approximately 50 percent of cataract formation in older individuals is age related, but other risk factors include genetics, smoking, exposure to UV light and diabetes. According to the National Eye Institute, symptoms of early cataracts may be improved with new eyeglasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses or magnifying lenses. If these measures do not help, surgery is the only effective treatment. Surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens.


'/>"/>

Contact: Christian Basi
BasiC@missouri.edu
573-882-4430
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers evaluating food allergy treatment
2. U of M researchers identify process that may help treat Parkinsons, spinal cord injuries
3. OHSU Cancer Institute researchers discover key gene involvement in cancer development
4. Combining liver cancer treatments doubles survival rates, UVA researchers find
5. Leading HIV researchers to collaborate on vaccine development
6. Georgetown researchers find stem cell marker controls 2 key cancer pathways
7. Blood pressure drugs halt pancreatic cancer cell growth, Jefferson researchers find
8. OHSU Cancer Institute researchers find connection between protein, prognosis in breast cancer
9. Karmanos Researchers Report Enhanced Chemosensitivity of Pancreatic Cancer Cells by Black Seed Component
10. Penn researchers find targeted therapy combination overcomes treatment resistance in liver cancer
11. Researchers find disparities in depression among older Hispanics in US
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, and ... in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and commentary ... of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , For the ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many women are ... with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only alleviate symptoms ... can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. The specialists ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest ... as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are ... Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published ... unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable ... less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that ... chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent ... special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator ... more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it ... funding is led by Innova Memphis, followed by ... private investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate the ... market release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... "Dialysis Devices Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report ... is the treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, ... and excess fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the ... sodium, potassium and chloride in balance. Increasing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic ... Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to 2021" report ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market is projected to ... of 6.1% in the forecast period 2016 to 2021. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: