Doctoral Dissertations


"The loss of vision from age-related eye diseases now affects over 30 million people in the United States and is expected to reach twice that number within the next couple of decades. Among these disorders, age-related macular degeneration and cataract formation represent the largest percentage of these cases. Therapeutic options available for treating age-related macular degeneration are limited and there is no noninvasive form of treatment for cataracts current available. Several studies have indicated that oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathology of these age-related eye disorders. If oxidative stress is responsible for the initiation and progression of these disorders, then antioxidants may play a key role in reducing the severity, halting the progression and, perhaps, even eliminating these disorders. Recent research has shown that an antioxidant called N-acetylcysteine amide (NACA) not only acts as an antioxidant itself but also stimulates the production of glutathione thereby increasing resistance to oxidative stress. To evaluate NACA's ability to provide therapeutic benefits in eye-related disorders, two different experimental models were utilized. The first was an in vitro model which examined the oxidative stress and membrane integrity of adult retinal pigmented epithelial ARPE-19 cells in the presence of methamphetamine. The second was an in vivo model which examined the cataract generating potential upon the depletion of glutathione levels within the lens. Treatment with N-acetylcystiene amide was applied to each model to determine any beneficial effects during oxidative stress. Overall, the results from this study indicate that NACA treatment represents an effective and alternative treatment to costly cataract surgery and can potentially reduce the health care costs related to age-related eye diseases and greatly improve the quality of life of people affected by these diseases"--Abstract, page iii.


Ercal, Nuran

Committee Member(s)

Whitefield, Philip D.
Woelk, Klaus
Ma, Yinfa
Karacal, Humeyra



Degree Name

Ph. D. in Chemistry


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date



x, 99 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 86-98).


© 2012 Joshua Warren Carey, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Eye -- Diseases
Oxidative stress -- Health aspects
Antioxidants -- Therapeutic use

Thesis Number

T 10018

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #


Link to Catalog Record

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