Free radicals implicated in common eye disease

The American Journal of Pathology‘s November, 2010 issue reports the outcome of research conducted by Ula V. Jurkunas, MD and her colleagues at the Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston which implicates free radical damage in the development of Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD), a potentially blinding disease characterized by the programmed cell death of epithelial cells in the eye’s cornea (the clear tissue in the front of the eye) which is the most common reason for corneal transplant surgery. Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage a variety of tissues, resulting in many of the diseases and conditions associated with aging. While some free radical damage is inevitable, increasing the body’s levels of antioxidants, which bind with and neutralize free radicals, can help moderate this damage. (more…)