Turmeric Extract Based Eye Drops to Treat Glaucoma at Early Stage
Chemical called as curcumin derived from turmeric has shown to reduce glaucoma-associated retinal cell damage, according to the study published in the journal Scientific Reports in July 2018
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can result in to blindness by destroying retinal cells. New study reported that orally-ingested curcumin – a chemical derived from the spice turmeric – can be used for treatment of glaucoma. However, challenge associated with oral administration of curcumin orally is that it is insoluble and subsequently enter the bloodstream easily. Moreover, patients will have to take around 24 tablets a day to observe positive effect, which may lead to cause unwanted gastrointestinal side effects.
To overcome this challenge, scientists at University College London and Imperial College London developed a liquid medication, which delivers the chemical directly to the eye in the form of drops. The solution carries the curcumin within a surfactant combined with a stabilizing agent, both of which are already used in other eye products. This approach reportedly not only allows the medication to deliver a higher concentration of curcumin than is possible using other eye drops currently in development, but it also increases the chemical’s solubility by a factor of nearly 400,000.
As a part of the study, the researchers administered the drops twice a day for three weeks to rats suffering from ongoing retinal ganglion cell loss. Furthermore, it was compared to a group of untreated rats with the same condition. As a result, it was observed that the treated animals experienced a significant reduction in cell loss without side effects such as eye irritation or inflammation. Researchers believe that the medication can be used to effectively treat glaucoma in humans and to better diagnose Alzheimer’s disease – curcumin causes Alzheimer’s-related amyloid plaque deposits in patients’ retinas to light up, allowing the disease to be detected.
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