Californian scientists have discovered that the steroid lanosterol that occurs naturally is able to make cataracts disappear and to prevent them from future returning. If it is approved for people’s use, this compound would be available like non-invasive treatment for people with moderate cataract’s forms.
At first, the scientists became aware of the lanosterol’s ability to block the cataracts by observing 2 kids in China with hereditary form of the condition. According to “Science Alert”, after the examination it became clear that they shared a mutation that was blocking the steroid lanosterol’s production. The parents of the children lacked the mutation and as a result they never went on to develop cataracts. The observation team proposed that this steroid must be very important in the cataracts’ formation.
There are many experiments that are done on donated human lenses and live dogs and rabbits and they are published in “Nature”. The results showed that the cataract size has been significantly decreased by the lanosterol.
The cataracts happen when the protein that is in the lens is built- up and prevents the light to get through. This condition can be heredity as it is in the case of the Chinese siblings but it can develop at old ages. The “Center for Disease Control and Prevention” states that the cataracts are the main cause of blindness all around the world and the main cause of vision loss in the United States. Nowadays the only available treatment for cataracts is removing the clouded lens surgically and replacing them with artificial lens.
The researchers think that the steroid prevent the building- up process of proteins, even though it isn’t entirely clear how the lanosterol is working. “Tech Times” states that if these drops really work on human, they can give a non- invasive treatment for people with mild to moderate cataracts and also to serve as prevention from ever returning. It is estimated that in 2050 there are going to be around 50 million Americans affected by this condition and even the surgery of cataracts is safe and easy the drops would be an easier alternative, for sure.
The study already causes excitement even it isn’t yet being tested on people. A molecular biologist, J. King from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said that this study is the strongest he has seen in decades and that is it a phenomena.