Scientists who created the world's first medicine, which slows the development of cataracts and delays its formation, were among the five finalists of the competition of business projects organized by the University of Queensland (Australia).
The only existing method of treating cataracts is surgical removal of the clouded lens and replacing it with a synthetic one.
The drug Calpain Therapeutics is aimed at protein in the eye tissue. When activated by various triggers, including those associated with aging of the body, this protein causes a clouding of the lens. Severe cataracts are the main cause of blindness.
Although in most cases the cataract develops when a person grows old, sometimes this disease can be triggered by diabetes, eye trauma, exposure to the sun's ultraviolet, long-term use of steroid drugs, smoking and alcohol abuse. According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, almost 18 million people are now blind due to cataracts, many of them living in poor countries.
Now there are no drugs that prevent or reverse the development of cataracts. The only method of treatment - surgical removal of the clouded lens and its replacement by synthetic. Every year in Australia, more than 200 thousand such operations are carried out, and in the United States - about 3.4 million.
Testing of the drug developed by Calpain Therapeutics, showed that it significantly slows the progression of cataracts. The medicine can be produced in the form of drops or cream, which should be treated with eyes every night before going to bed. Well and to find out a cataract at an early stage it is possible by means of usual inspection of eyes. Once the diagnosis is made, you can start taking a new medicine that will slow the course of the disease. Even if there is only one eye in cataracts, there is a high probability that it will affect the second, so both eyes need to be treated.
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