Violet Light Exposure Can Be a Preventive Strategy Against Myopia Progression - Violet light to suppress myopia progression -
January 24, 2017 Keio University School of Medicine
Hidemasa Torii and colleagues in a research group comprising Keio University School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology (Professor Kazuo Tsubota) and Laboratory of Photobiology (Principal investigator: Project Lecturer Toshihide Kurihara) have discovered for the first time in the world that violet light (VL, 360-400 nm wavelength) suppresses myopia progression through in vivo testing using chicks and clinical studies in humans.
The cause of the onset and progression of myopia is unknown, and it is now reported that the myopic population of the world continues to increase and that the world's myopic population will be about 5 billion in 2050. To date, it has been pointed out by multiple epidemiological studies and in vivo tests that outdoor activities suppress myopia progression, but the protective mechanism of outdoor activities against myopia progression was still unclear.
The group focused on violet light, which is abundant in outdoor environments, and carried out research using a chick myopia model. Through that model, myopic progression of chicks exposed to violet light was suppressed, and early growth response 1 (EGR1 [ZENK, zif268]), a gene known to suppress myopia progression, was confirmed to be upregulated in chicks exposed to violet light. This clarified the possibility that EGR1 is involved as a mechanism of the violet light suppression of myopia progression. In addition, the research also suggests that those wearing contact lenses that transmit violet light suppress myopia progression more than those wearing contact lenses or glasses that do not transmit violet light, suggesting that myopia progresses when wearing glasses that do not transmit violet light. Furthermore, the LEDs and fluorescent lamps often used today contain little violet light, and it was found that violet light does not pass through materials such as the UV-protected eyeglasses and window glass. That is, in modern society there is a lack of violet light, which may be related to the global increase in myopia.
Through research on myopia onset and myopia progression as well as new therapeutic developments, it is expected that the results of this research may help to halt future myopic population growth. The results of this research will be published in the February 2017 issue of “EBioMedicine ”.
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