New technique for cataract detection introduced in Edinburgh

6th May 2011

A new technique which allows opticians to quantitatively assess the growth of cataracts has been developed by ophthalmic surgeons in Scotland.

Edinburgh Instruments has developed a new method based on detecting the amounts of a certain acid in the eye, which helps to detect growth more accurately than other techniques.

It also helps to detect cataracts earlier in the process, at molecular stage.

Optics reported: "The ability to diagnose cataract development at a molecular level through tryptophan changes could be of great benefit in surgical lens replacement decisions and pharmacological research."

A cataract is a clouding of the lens which results in reduced vision. The development of the condition is generally related to age, with half of people in the UK being affected by it by the age of 80.

They are caused when protein in the eye, which is normally regulated to allow light to pass through, clumps together and covers part of the lens. This process can be accelerated by smoking or diabetes.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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