In the eyes of the people, inhabited by dangerous pathogens


Scientists from the University of California found that the so-called proteins-prions can accumulate in the cornea. They provoke the emergence of a number of fatal neurodegenerative diseases that are not treatable.

These pathogens, like any virus, can spread inside the brain and cause healthy proteins to make the painful form. To get this “infection” is possible through the use of stale meat or during surgery, including transplantation of the cornea from a deceased donor. Also prion diseases are inherited.

Experts have found that proteins-prions are “hidden” in the eyes, but the scale of this phenomenon until recently, was unknown. According to a study published on the website of Nature Communications, the pathogens enter the eye from the gray matter through the optic nerve, but there are opposite cases. Prions can enter the brain from the eye for transplant of infected corneas or when using non-sterile surgical instrument.

Now the researchers plan to create diagnostic tests that will allow through analysis of the patient’s tears to determine the concentration of these dangerous proteins.