Glaucoma research unveils "unexpected pathway"

Glaucoma research unveils "unexpected pathway"

New research has pinpointed the precise anatomical location where vision loss appears to occur in glaucoma, which could lead to new therapies to combat the condition.

Experts at the Kennedy Krieger Institute have found that at a specific location within the optic nerve head, a class of cells called astrocytes demonstrate properties which may make them a "critical factor" in the blinding caused by glaucoma.

In addition, the specialists claim that an abnormal protein called gamma synuclein, which is known for its key role in cell loss in Parkinson"s disease, may be found in glaucoma patients.

Dr Nicholas Marsh-Armstrong, senior study author and a research scientist at Kennedy Krieger Institute, commented: "I believe these findings put us on the cusp of discovering a treatment for glaucoma that may also have relevance for a number of other neurodegenerative diseases."

Recently, Dr William Trattler, an ophthalmologist at the Center for Excellence in Eye Care in Miami, Florida, told the American Profile website that regular eye examinations can help to detect glaucoma early.

by Martin Burns

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