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Academic Alert
October 10, 2001

Insight Into Opacity: Clues to Cataract Formation

JAMA. 2001;286(14):1705. doi:10.1001/jama.286.14.1705

Cambridge, Mass—Recent studies by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are providing a clearer view of how alterations in lens proteins make cataract formation more likely to occur. Elucidation of these molecular mechanisms should help identify methods to inhibit or prevent cataract development and may also provide useful clues to the pathogenesis of other conditions, such as Alzheimer disease.

New strategies for treating or preventing cataract would be welcome. According to the World Health Organization, cataract is the leading cause of vision impairment worldwide and is responsible for half of the 45 million cases of blindness that occur across the globe. Currently the only treatment for this condition is extraction of the cataract.