The relation of lenticular lipids to cataract has been a point of interest to ophthalmologists for many years. However, in spite of numerous investigations the lenticular lipids have not been well characterized. For this reason much confusion has arisen in ophthalmologic literature in the discussion of lipids in cataracts.
Lipids in myelin forms are frequently seen in cataracts. The lipids which may give rise to these forms are: (1) the phospholipids, that is, lecithin, cephalin and sphingomyelin, and (2) the cerebrosides, namely, kerasin, phrenosin, nervone and hydroxynervone. Myelin is a term often applied to birefractive substances as well as to substances with a myelin form. In addition to unmasked phospholipids and cerebrosides many organic and inorganic substances, such as calcium salts and cholesterol esters, may also be birefractive. It is unfortunate that the term myelin is so poorly defined that it causes confusion in the ophthalmologic literature.
KRAUSE AC. CHEMISTRY OF THE LENS: VI. LIPIDS. Arch Ophthalmol. 1935;13(2):187–190. doi:10.1001/archopht.1935.00840020047004
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