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 September 2, 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 September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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