05.05.2010

Protein expression "could help glaucoma diagnosis"

Protein expression "could help glaucoma diagnosis"

By Adrian Galbreth

The expression of a certain type of protein in glaucoma patients may enable more effective diagnosis of the condition, it has been claimed.

Dr Kathryn Bollinger, a Medical College of Georgia clinician specialising in glaucoma, stated that an eye under pressure appears to express a unique set of proteins that physicians hope will one day help them better diagnose and treat glaucoma.

She pointed out that glaucoma elevates pressure inside the eyeball which stresses the optic nerve and nerve arms that reach out to communicate with the brain.

"Over time, increased pressure can kill nerve cells and axons and decrease vision. At this point, we don"t have a regenerative strategy," Dr Bollinger said.

Glaucoma is currently the second leading cause of blindness worldwide and tends to progress silently until decreased vision indicates the condition.

However, Dr Bollinger said that the new findings could lead to quicker diagnosis and even enable experts to create new surgical procedures.

by Martin Burns


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