25.11.2014

Study links antidepressants to cataract risk

Study links antidepressants to cataract risk

A new study has linked antidepressant drugs to an increased risk of developing cataracts.

The investigation, published in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, established a link between the eye disease and two widely-prescribed drugs.

Specialists claim that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants, and amantadine, a Parkinson"s disease treatment, may have a link with cataracts.

The study, led by Mahyar Etminan, of Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, Canada, assessed data from almost 19,000 people age 65 or older.

He explained: "The eye"s lens has serotonin receptors, and animal studies have shown that excess serotonin can make the lens opaque and lead to cataract formation."

Dr Etminan added that if the findings are confirmed in future studies, doctors and patients should consider cataract risk when prescribing some SSRIs for older patients.

It comes after experts at the University of California Irvine created an eight-layer, early stage retina from human embryonic stem cells, which is the first ever three-dimensional tissue structure to be made from stem cells.

by Alexa Kaczka


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