Glaucoma is a term that refers to diseases caused by the damage of the eye’s optic nerve. If it is not treated, it may result in vision loss. The vision loss does not happen immediately when you get glaucoma. At first, your vision field is reduced. Because of the nature of glaucoma, it is called “silent thief of sight”.
According to World Health Organization, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. Usually, it affects older people. However, even babies can be at risk of developing glaucoma. World Health Organization statistics show that there are approximately 120,000 blind people due to glaucoma in the USA.
Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Shiley Eye Institute published a study which shows how they researched in what manner elevated eye pressure changes retinal ganglion cells. Elevated eye pressure is important here because it is a usual cause of glaucoma. When eye pressure is higher than it is supposed to be, it destroys the retinal ganglion cells. A retinal ganglion cell is a type of neuron placed in a tissue which lines the inner surface of the eye. Retinal ganglion cells receive visual information from photoreceptors and send it to the brain. Their study showed that some retinal ganglion cells change their structure under the influence of elevated eye pressure. However, some retinal cells do not change their structure. The manner in which these cells change can be helpful when detecting and slowing those changes. homemade laxatives, it means that new tests will be designed in order to check the function of the specific retinal ganglion cells which change due to elevated eye pressure.
The Northwestern Medicine scientists discovered ways to restore normal drainage of the eye. When one develops glaucoma, the so-called Schlemm’s canal becomes blocked. This canal transfers a kind of plasma called aqueous humor into the bloodstream. As the Schlemm’s canal becomes blocked, the result is the elevated eye pressure and the eye cannot drain. This study is significant because of another reason. The study discovered that, apart from other factors, cause of glaucoma can be a blocked Schlemm’s canal, too. The study identified a chemical which can unblock a Schlemm’s canal. The results of the study are based on a mouse model. The Northwestern Medicine scientists claim that these findings will be relevant for humans, as well.
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The study published by Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science discovered that chronic high blood pressure can be one of the causes of glaucoma. The scientists compared the effects of the combination of both high blood pressure and elevated eye pressure in lab rats. In addition to that, they compared the lab rats with acute (one hour) and chronic (four week) hypertension. The conclusion of the scientists is that chronic blood pressure can damage blood vessels in the eye and that these damaged blood vessels cannot work normally when eye pressure elevates.
The study conducted by City University London and published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience shows that analysis of maps of eye movements while watching television can help early detection of glaucoma. The team of scientists compared two groups of people. One group were elderly people with no glaucoma symptoms and the other group consisted of patients diagnosed with glaucoma. This research will help to diagnose glaucoma at early stages of a disease.
When it comes to glaucoma treatment, there are also good news. After 19 years, there is a new drug for treatment of glaucoma on the market. It is called Rho kinase (ROCK) inhibitor. According to a study by Aerie Pharmaceuticals, there are no serious side effects of AR-12286, which is one of the classes of Rho kinase (ROCK) inhibitors. Only mild eye redness was observed in small number of patients. Under the influence of these drugs, intraocular pressure is lowered. AR-12286 is designed to lower eye pressure by improving the outflow of aforementioned aqueous humor into bloodstream. When the outflow of aqueous humor decreases or increases too much, the result is the elevated eye pressure.
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There are around 65 million people worldwide diagnosed with glaucoma. These aforementioned researches made an enormous contribution in medicine. There is always a hope when there are scientist who make constant effort to make lives easier for patients diagnosed with glaucoma.
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