Dry Eye Syndrome

Dr. Jean Jacob is investigating and developing a reliable method to determine the lipid and protein composition of tears that could be used both in the basic science laboratory and clinically in a diagnostic laboratory setting. This approach will not only generate the detailed information needed for more precise diagnosis of dry eye conditions, but also provide the basis for development of more specific and effective categories for (and possibly therapies targeted directly to) the individual deficiencies that characterize the spectrum of dry eye disorders. The development of this technology to provide specific information on the complex disorder known as dry eye could provide relief to and enhance the quality of life of millions of patients for whom no reliable long-lasting therapy is currently available.

The lacrimal gland is of critical importance to good vision. Lacrimal gland secretions, including fluid and proteins, are responsible for maintaining the optical surface of the cornea, protecting the cornea from pathogens, and conveying growth factors to the cornea, which may help to maintain the cellular structure of the ocular surface. Dr. Jacob is also investigating whether abnormalities of the innervational status of the lacrimal gland is an important factor in the pathogenesis of dry eye disease. Additionally, Dr. Jacob has 2 dry eye models which she uses to investigate and test novel artificial tear formulations to alleviate dry eye symptoms.

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