Ophthalmology researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a key risk factor for the development of cataracts. For the first time, they have demonstrated an association between loss of gel in the eyes vitreous body -- the gel that lies between the back of the lens and the retina -- and the formation of nuclear cataracts, the most common type of age-related cataracts.
The researchers reported their findings in the January issue of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science.
"Most people think of cataracts as a problem that we develop if were lucky to live long enough, but clearly there are people who live to quite an old age and never get cataracts," says principal investigator David C. Beebe, Ph.D., the Janet and Bernard Becker Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and professor of cell biology and physiology. "The perception that they are inevitable may have skewed our perspective about preventing cataracts, but it may be possible to prevent them if we can continue to home in on the causes of cataracts."
Jim Dryden | WUSTL
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