Discovery of an Indian origin UK doctor may lead to cure blindness
Amidst the immense darkness, an Indian doctor in Britain, Professor Harminder Dua, has brought a new ray of light with the discovery of a new layer in the human cornea that could help cure blindness due to glaucoma.
A professor at the University of Nottingham, his discovery show that the ultra thin layer, which is just 0.001 mm thick, plays a vital role in the structure of the tissue that controls the flow of fluid from the eye. It also makes an important contribution to the sieve-like meshwork called the Trabecular Meshwork (TM) in the periphery of the cornea.
The new layer, dubbed as Dua’s Layer, is located at the back of the cornea between the corneal stroma and descemet’s membrane.
This discovery, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, will help in finding why the drainage system malfunctions in the eyes of some people leading to high pressure.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness throughout the world after cataract and is called a ‘silent thief of sight’ because the vision is lost gradually over a long period of time and the symptoms occur when the disease has advanced. Once the vision is lost, it cannot be recovered, so the treatment is done to prevent further loss. It is mainly caused by the defective drainage of fluid from the eye through the TM which leads to raised pressure in the eye that can permanently affect sight.
Using electron microscopy, researchers examined the eye of human donor and were able to look at Dua’s Layer beyond the central part of the cornea which helped in discovering more about its features even at the extreme periphery of the cornea. It was also discovered that the collagen fibres of Dua’s Layer also branch out to form a meshwork and that the core of TM is in fact an extension of Dua’s Layer.
Talking about his discovery Dua said, “This is a major discovery that will mean that ophthalmology textbooks will need to be rewritten. From a clinical perspective there are many diseases that affect the back of the cornea which clinicians across the world are already beginning to relate to the presence, absence or tear in this layer.”