As posted in UConn Today
January 12, 2022 |
Chemical weapons like mustard gas have been used in warfare for over a century. They can cause mass casualties with relative ease, making them a continuing threat to national security.
The two main types of mustard gases – sulfur mustard and nitrogen mustard – cause blistering and severe acute injury to the eyes and lungs.
These injuries can have serious long-term consequences for vision because they often cause fibrotic scarring on the cornea. Fibrotic scarring occurs when scar tissue thickens and forms permanent scar tissue rather than healing normally.
Sulfur mustard also affects the internal retinal tissues, putting the whole eye at risk for permanent damage.
Currently, there are no effective treatments for mustard gas injury. One of the main challenges is that a chemical weapon attack would be a mass casualty event and remedies would need to be deployed at the scale and urgency seen in battlefield-like conditions.
Royce Mohan, professor of neuroscience at UConn Health, has received a $450,000 grant from the National Eye Institute to investigate how another kind of chemical injury could provide answers for developing treatments for mustard gas injuries.
To read more about this study, please click here.