Nature nurtures: lens regeneration, a breakthrough in ophthalmology
Pediatric cataract is a major cause of treatable blindness worldwide (1,2). The prevalence of cataract in children has been estimated between 1–15/10,000 children (3). There are 200,000 children blind from cataract worldwide, and 20,000 to 40,000 children with developmental bilateral cataract are born each year (3). Pediatric cataracts are responsible for more than 1 million childhood blindness in Asia alone (3). Pediatric cataract blindness presents an enormous problem in terms of human morbidity, economic loss, and social burden. Despite the availability of meticulous surgery, cataract is still the leading cause of blindness worldwide in children (4). There is no “ideal” lens to date that can replace the natural lens and at the same time preserving all the properties of the natural lens and devoid of complications. We are in an era where stem cells have revolutionized the treatment of many human diseases to the extent of changing blood groups as well. It is high time that we focus on this major cause of treatable blindness with treatments that would bring about a paradigm shift in the outcome of surgery.