Dr. Nuran Ercal at the Missouri University of Science and Technology is leading a team of researchers in studying the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine amide (NACA) as a possible treatment for cataracts, macular degeneration and other degenerative eye disorders. The research team is studying eye drops which are made with NACA.
Another experimental treatment involves the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) but NACA improves upon the NAC because NACA passes more easily across cell membranes which allows it to be administered in lower doses. The lower dosage means the drug has a greater therapeutic index and will have a lower risk of side effects than NAC. NACA also delivers glutathione to cells which is a cell’s main antioxidant power.
Preliminary research demonstrated that the NACA solution prevented cataracts from forming in rats that had been treated with a substance that causes the growth of cataracts. Additional research is being conducted to see if the NACA solution will reverse degeneration. Additional testing will also determine the appropriate dosage and dosing frequency.