Well, I saw the surgeon - one who has a very high reputation. He said my cataracts were Grade 4, nuclear + PSC mixed, and the lens hardness was +4 on a scale of 0 to 6. He said that if I asked him to remove my cataracts, he would do it, but frankly admitted to me that "cataract surgery does not restore normal vision to what it was before the cataracts", and that patients experience all kinds of trouble post-op, so I should prepare myself for that eventuality. Of course, when you're faced with going blind, you don't have much choice, and many people do have good visual outcomes.
He also said I knew far more about cataracts than he did, although his wife was also an ophthalmologist and a lecturer on the retina and cornea at a university. I asked him to introduce someone doing cataract research, and he echoed my lament that he knew of no-one in this country. Finally, I said I would try to hold out until maybe December, when there may be clinical trials of non-surgical methods.
It's been a while since I posted here. Recently, I slipped on a smooth rock surface, landed flat on my back and fractured 3 ribs, as well as compressing the right lung. Which has meant that I'm unable to lie flat, or sleep in a bed any more. I'm hoping that within a month or two, the ribs, cartilage and tendons will have healed sufficiently to allow me to sleep in a bed again. Right now I have to sleep sitting in a chair, sprawled forwards on a table and I can tell you, it's not much fun. It also means I cannot lie down to have cataract surgery either.
The hospital focused their treatment on the lung, more or less ignoring the ribs, so I went to a chiropractor who taped and strapped the ribs with elastic material in an effort to hold them in alignment while they heal. He also applied a microwave heating device to the ribs, and the feet which are swollen due to my sleeping position. But the microwaves seem to have made my cataracts a whole lot worse, which is not surprising since I have irradiation cataracts. I'm going to refuse future microwave treatments. Not to mention the 10 chest X-rays, and the CT-scans I had - they also made things yellower and foggier. If a light is shining in front of me, I can barely see my hand in front of my face. If I darken the room, I can see better although it's still yellow.
Which brings me to my main point. Most of us have radiation cataracts, meaning that ionizing radiation, microwaves or UV are the root cause of the damage to our eye lens. Therefore, we need ways to halt the damage, and reverse it if possible. A few years ago, Trevithick et al had found that a combination of pycnogenol, beta-carotene and vitamin C partially reversed irradiation cataracts. So I now take pycnogenol, alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin E and vitamin C for this purpose. I just hope that one day, I will notice an improvement.
Yesterday, I phoned one of the biggest eye hospitals in the world, and asked them this question: "Do you want to cure cataracts?" The dialog went like this:
Q: Do you want to cure cataracts?
A: We remove them.
Q: I didn't ask you that. I know you remove them. I asked you, if you wanted to cure them.
A: Cure means, treat the disease. No, we can't do that. We remove them.
Q: I didn't ask you whether you can, or you can't, cure them. I asked you whether you wanted to cure them.
A: We remove them. (GAME OVER).
It was clear they did not want to cure them. To explore this further, I then phoned the university ophthalmology institute attached to the hospital, and asked them if any eye doctors from the hospital were doing research on eye diseases. Yes, they said, many eye doctors at the hospital were also doing research, please look at the website for details. There, I saw a list of around 50 names of professors and doctors, and the eye diseases they were working on. But not one of those names listed cataract in their work. I got back to the reception, and they couldn't come up with an answer either. Since cataracts are responsible for more than 50% of blindness in our world, 90 million people are living a visual nightmare because of cataracts, and cataract surgery outcomes are not always good - don't you think that's passing strange?
Cataracters, let's have some fun! Phone your local eye hospital or university ophthalmology department, and ask them whether they WANT to cure cataract. If they say they do want, ask them what they did in the past, and what they plan to do in the future. If they say they do not want, ask them why not. If you get any interesting responses, please post them here. The answers should be very entertaining!
Today, a friend who came over disputed my title to SaintHood.
If I see halos around streetlamps, she says, it is the streetlamps which should be sanctified, not me, because they have the halos. Good point. But, since it is me who has the faulty nucleus, and since the streetlamps don't care whether we cure cataract or not (and I do), I still consider that I can call myself "Saint Nucleus", and all those of you with this type of cataract who want to cure it without ripping out the natural lens, are entitled to call themselves "Brothers of the Order of Saint Nucleus". Brothers, let us pray for a nonsurgical cure of nuclear cataract, and for good to triumph over evil.
THREE-STEP PLAN TO REVERSE NUCLEAR CATARACT WITH EYEDROPS
(1) EV06 eyedrops to break lens disulfide bonds and soften the lens.
This would allow (2) and (3) below to penetrate the lens.
Contain lipoic acid choline ester.
Bought by Novartis Pharma (which also has a huge surgical lens business) as an eyedrop to cure presbyopia for $465 million. Has already passed Phase II clinical trials in the US, but Novartis says it hasn't. Novartis has no plans to release this eyedrop which is therefore unavailable.
(2) AGE-crystallin crosslink breaker. Would contain phenacyl thiazolium bromide (PTB, synthetic) or chebula (Ayurveda, natural), or any other crosslink breaker. PTB was shown, at the University of Arkansas in 2008, to break crosslinks of AGEs with alpha-crystallin, and thereby reverse loss of chaperone function of alpha-crystallin. This discovery is the key to curing cataract blindness in 90 million people worldwide and alone is worth a Nobel Prize. The eye profession has no plans to use this discovery, therefore no intention to cure world blindness, and it is therefore unavailable.
(3) Alpha-crystallin stabilizers (sterols)
This means lanosterol and other sterols. They have the ability to refold and stabilize alpha-crystallin liberated by (2) from its shackles to AGEs. Once stabilized, alpha-crystallin will then interfere with the electrostatic attraction between beta- and gamma- crystallin protein molecules by masking the electrical charges on their surfaces, thereby separating the molecules, and breaking up large molecular aggregates into smaller ones. This will restore optical transparency to the lens, curing the cataract.
Lanosterol eyedrops are available, but cannot work on alpha-crystallin until the lens is firstly softened, and the alpha-crystallin is secondly released from its bonds to AGEs (Steps (1) and (2)) above.
My cataracts are yellow nuclear cataracts. I excerpted the following from an article which appeared in 2011:
"The ageing lens and cataract: A model of normal and pathological ageing"
"(b) Nuclear cataract
Strictly defined, a nuclear cataract is a lens opacity confined to the true nucleus of the lens whose shape is determined by the concentric arrangement of the fibres that compose it. Since the light-scattering properties of the lens nucleus increase progressively after the fourth decade, the point at which an increase in light-scatter may be designated a nuclear cataract becomes a matter of clinical judgement. While in some respects the molecular basis of nuclear cataract may be seen as an extension of those age-related events responsible for increased stiffness, light-scattering and coloration of the lens nucleus, it is the oxidative events discussed above, facilitated by the lack of nuclear GSH, that are the hallmark of nuclear cataract . These are responsible for the formation of mixed disulphides and PSSPs, high molecular weight aggregates and increasing protein insolubility, which lead to lens opacity and the augmented accumulation of chromophores. These changes occur within the fibres of the lens nucleus with limited structural effect, which explains the gross morphology of the cataract".
In the same article, we find:
"With increasing levels of oxidative stress, proteins become thiolated by GSSG, cysteine and to a lesser extent γ-glutamyl cysteine, to form the mixed disulphides, PSSG, PSSC and PSSγGC . These mixed disulphides may be further oxidized to form protein–protein disulphides (PSSPs), which are found increasingly in the high-molecular-weight, water-insoluble (WIS) fraction of the lens proteins, containing large, light-scattering, protein aggregates ".
First we remark that "disulfide bonds" can be broken by sulfites (the preservatives found in wine), and by a "sugar alcohol" known as "erythritol" (which is used as an artificial sweetener). There are even eye drops for dry eye which contain erythritol. Such eyedrops also contain electrolytes like potassium citrate that would interfere with the electrical attraction between proteins. It is this electrical attraction that causes the proteins to aggregate and form a cataract (so electrolytes are a very good idea), but sometimes also calcium chloride (I don't like the idea of dosing the eye with calcium salts, especially since calcium salt microspheres trigger macular degeneration). This more or less disqualifies these eye drops. But the next paragraph gets more interesting:
"Mixed disulphides and protein disulphides of this kind can be partially restored to their native state by two key redox repair systems. The GSH-dependent enzyme system, TTase, also known as glutaredoxin, exists in cytosolic and mitochondrial forms and catalyses the dethiolation of PSSG. The GSSG formed is recycled to GSH. Lens epithelial glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (G3PD) activity can be restored by TTase after H2O2 challenge, as may other SH-sensitive glycolytic enzymes such as hexokinase and pyruvate kinase .
The NAPDH-dependent enzyme TRx, present in both cytosolic and mitochondrial forms, reduces intra- and inter-molecular protein disulphides (PSSP). TRx is restored to its reduced state by TRx reductase (TR), with NADPH acting as a hydrogen donor. TRx works cooperatively with TTase to restore protein structure, conformation and function. Like TTase, TRx activity is also upregulated in response to oxidative stress. Both TTase and TRx systems can reactivate G3PD oxidized during the exposure of human epithelial cells to H2O2. Their activity, together with that of GR, falls with age ."
Therefore, apart from sulfites and erythritol, we see that the two enzymes TTase and TRx can at least "partially restore the protein disulfides to their native state". As noted in other posts, those two enzymes are found in brewer's yeast, which explains why brewer's yeast supplements are used to treat cataract.
When it boils down to it, this 40-page article is a thorough, in-depth evaluation of nearly all aspects of our problem - although the fact that cataract aggregations are largely the result of electrostatic interactions between lens proteins (Murugappan, 2010) is not mentioned. What is frustrating, as usual, is that the authors, despite having a complete understanding of cataract and the tools to reverse it at their disposal, MAKE NO ATTEMPT TO DO SO.
What is even more amazing: This article is published in the "Royal Society - Philosophical Transactions". But our lives depend on this information - there is nothing 'philosophical' about it.
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