Early diagnosis of Keratoconus:
Keratoconus is a progressive and degenerative pathology of the cornea, which is primarily responsible for the optical power of the ocular visual system.
To date the causes of the pathology remain mostly unknown. It causes severe progressive vision loss and has no cure, although there are methods to prevent its progression when it is detected in early stages.
It is bilateral and manifests more severely in young people. During the course of the pathology, the cornea becomes progressively more pronounced (curved), following an irregular pattern until it acquires a conical shape due to the mechanical weakening of the corneal structure. This leads to a very significant reduction in visual acuity, even to levels below 10%. A cornea transplant could be the only solution to obtain some level of visual rehabilitation. Surgically the pathology is treated with corneal rings or CrossLinking, to try to improve the quality of life of patients.
Currently, the diagnosis of Keratoconus is based on overt clinical signs. In other words, the pathology can only be detected when it has a clinical manifestation, that is, when the patient already has a significant loss of vision and its corneal topography shows a significant deterioration. CORNEA_project, owns the exclusive exploitation rights of the only known biomarkers that allow the early detection of Keratoconus, even before the presence of clinical signs, with a very high sensitivity and specificity. These biomarkers, whose clinical utility is patent protected, are the only ones known to be elevated in patients even below what would be a subclinical keratoconus, therefore, the only ones with predictive value, demonstrating enough sensitivity to diagnose Keratoconus in the most incipient stages, prior to the appearance of detectable clinical signs.
The correlation of the expression of the Biomarkers of CORNEA_project with the onset of the disease, the progression and the severity of keratoconus makes them unique tools for the diagnosis and monitoring of the disease and the prevention of problems associated with refractive surgery such as post-LASIK ectasia.
Objectives of KERASTOP project:
- To develop the first clinical test based on scientific evidence for the early diagnosis of Keratoconus.
- Fast, efficient and performed on site.
- The only one capable of reducing the risk of post-LASIK ectasias caused by a lack of detection of Keratoconus prior to the surgery.