Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fatty Acids Beneficial In Treatment For Dry Eye Syndrome

Date:
February 15, 2008
Source:
Harvard Medical School
Summary:
Topical drop application of alpha-linolenic acid led to a significant decrease in clinical signs of dry eye syndrome in animal models. ALA is a fatty acid that cannot be made by the body, and must be supplied in the diet.

Research conducted by Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) Cornea Service Director and Harvard Medical School Professor Reza Dana, M.D., M. Sc., MPH, and colleagues at the Schepens Eye Research Institute have found for the first time that topical drop application of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) led to a significant decrease in clinical signs of dry eye syndrome (DES) in animal models. ALA is a fatty acid that cannot be made by the body and must be supplied in the diet.

Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which the eyes do not produce enough tears, causing them to become dry and irritated. Inflammation is frequently associated with the condition. Symptoms of dry eye syndrome include eye discomfort, such as stinging or burning, eye irritation or a feeling of scratchiness.

The condition affects well more than 10 million people, primarily women, in the United States alone and can often lead to problems with activities such as reading and driving. Dry eye syndrome is also one of the most common conditions for which patients see eye care. Unfortunately, treatment options are quite limited in terms of both efficacy and undesirable side-effects.

The study tested three formulations of fatty acids: 0.2 percent alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) ; 0.2 percent linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) ; and 0.1 percent alpha-linolenic acid combined with 0.1 percent linoleic acid. An eye drop containing each of the three formulations was applied topically to the eye of a mouse once daily. An untreated group did not receive eye drops. Signs of dry eye were then measured 24 hours after the last dose. Eyes treated with ALA showed a significant reversal in epithelial damage to the cornea, the transparent dome that covers the pupil. Results show a beneficial effect of the topical application of ALA in reversing the signs of dry eye syndrome as well as the inflammatory changes seen in dry eye syndrome.

"The current study for the first time demonstrates the benefit of topical application of a particular fatty acid in treating the signs of dry eye syndrome at both the molecular and cellular levels. Using topical formulations of fatty acids to treat dry eye would allow for more flexibility for treatment, including lessening side effects that patients can experience from oral intake of fatty acids. Clinical studies with topical fatty acids are being planned, which if successful could alter the method by which this common condition is treated," said Dr. Dana.

The study will be published in the February 2008 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology. This research was supported by grants from Johnson and Johnson Vision Care, Inc., and the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard Medical School. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Harvard Medical School. "Fatty Acids Beneficial In Treatment For Dry Eye Syndrome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080211172640.htm>.
Harvard Medical School. (2008, February 15). Fatty Acids Beneficial In Treatment For Dry Eye Syndrome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080211172640.htm
Harvard Medical School. "Fatty Acids Beneficial In Treatment For Dry Eye Syndrome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080211172640.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins