Eye drops containing a derivative of turmeric reduce the loss of retinal cells in rats, finds a new study led by UCL and Imperial College London researchers.
Loss of these cells is known to be an early sign of glaucoma and the eye drops could in time be a new treatment option for the condition.
In the new Scientific Reports paper, the researchers report a new method to deliver curcumin, extracted from the yellow spice turmeric, directly to the back of the eye using eye drops, overcoming the challenge of curcumin’s poor solubility.
They are also investigating how the eye drops could be used as a diagnostic tool for a range of conditions.
“Curcumin is an exciting compound that has shown promise at detecting and treating the neurodegeneration implicated in numerous eye and brain conditions from glaucoma to Alzheimer’s disease, so being able to administer it easily in eye drops may end up helping millions of people,” said the study’s lead author, Professor Francesca Cordeiro (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Western Eye Hospital and Imperial College London).
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions affecting over 60 million people worldwide that leads to irreversible blindness in 1 in 10 cases. The condition mainly involves the loss of retinal ganglion cells, a type of neuron located near the surface of the retina. Stopping the loss of these cells early on has not yet been achieved, so it is a key focus of glaucoma research.
Curcumin has previously been shown to protect retinal ganglion cells when administered orally. For the current study, the researchers were seeking to find a more reliable method to deliver curcumin. Oral administration is difficult because curcumin has poor solubility, so it does not easily dissolve and get absorbed into the bloodstream, and would require people to take large amounts of tablets (up to 24 a day) that may cause gastrointestinal side effects.
The team developed a novel nanocarrier, wherein the curcumin is contained within a surfactant combined with a stabiliser, both of which are known to be safe for human use and are already in existing eye products. The nanocarrier can be used in eye drops to deliver much higher loads of curcumin than other products in development, increasing the drug’s solubility by a factor of almost 400,000, and localises the curcumin in the eyes instead of throughout the body.
The researchers initially tested the product on cells that are used to model glaucoma, before conducting trials in rats with eye conditions involving the loss of retinal ganglion cells.
After twice-daily use of eye drops in the rats for three weeks, retinal ganglion cell loss was significantly reduced compared to matched controls, and the treatment was found to be well-tolerated with no signs of eye irritation or inflammation.
Having found an effective way to deliver curcumin, the researchers are hopeful that it could also be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, as curcumin is known to bind to the amyloid beta protein deposits implicated in Alzheimer’s, and can be detected in the retina with fluorescence to highlight the malignant proteins.
“We are now researching diagnostic uses for these eye drops alongside other ways to visualise the retina, as eye tests can be an opportunity to detect signs of neurodegeneration with a simple, non-invasive test,” said co-lead author Dr Ben Davis (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Imperial College London).
Professor Cordeiro added: “As we live longer, diseases such as glaucoma and Alzheimer’s are steadily increasing. We believe our findings could make a major contribution at helping the lives of people affected by these devastating diseases.”
The Latest on: Glaucoma
via Google News
The Latest on: Glaucoma
- Sight Sciences Strengthens Its Leadership Team with Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Hireson June 25, 2020 at 5:00 am
PRNewswire/ -- Sight Sciences, Inc., a growth-stage medical device company transforming the two fastest-growing segments in ophthalmology and ...
- Glaucoma Market 2020 Top Manufacturers, Industry Share, Size, Trends, Growth Factor and Forecast 2025on June 25, 2020 at 4:29 am
Final Report will add the analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on this industry” Global “Glaucoma Market” report studies ...
- Aerpio Announces Initiation of 28-Day Phase 2 Razuprotafib Glaucoma Trialon June 24, 2020 at 5:39 pm
Aerpio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Aerpio”) (ARPO), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing compounds that activate Tie2 to treat ocular diseases, ARDS associated with COVID-19, and diabetic ...
- Aerpio launches mid-stage study of razuprotafib in glaucomaon June 24, 2020 at 11:28 am
Enrollment is underway in a 195-subject Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating' (NASDAQ:ARPO) razuprotafib eye drop in patients with elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) assoc ...
- Glaucoma Nerve Cell Death May Be Driven by Toxin-Releasing Reactive Astrocyteson June 24, 2020 at 5:00 am
Rodent study results point to astrocytes as the true culprits behind nerve cell death in gluacoma and highlight a potentially new approach to treating neurodegenerative disease ...
- Star-Shaped Brain Cells May Play a Critical Role in Glaucomaon June 23, 2020 at 12:55 pm
After a brain injury, cells that normally nourish nerves may actually kill them instead, a new study in rodents finds. This "reactive" phenomenon may be the driving factor behind neurodegenerative ...
- Study sheds light on why retinal ganglion cells are vulnerable to glaucomaon June 18, 2020 at 9:11 am
Millions of sufferers of glaucoma might someday benefit from a study released today in Stem Cells in which a 'disease in a dish' stem cell model was used to examine the mechanism in glaucoma that ...
- Glaucoma in large-scale population-based epidemiology: a questionnaire-based proxyon June 18, 2020 at 5:00 am
To improve upon self-reported glaucoma status in population-based cohorts by developing a questionnaire-based proxy incorporating self-reported status in conjunction with glaucoma-specific visual ...
- Human Stem Cell Model and CRISPR Used to Identify Degeneration in Glaucomaon June 12, 2020 at 5:00 am
Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have used human stem cell models to identify cells damaged by glaucoma, and have used CRISPR/Cas 9 technology to show how correcting the gene ...
via Bing News