Reaserach on glaucoma reveals new cause, with the possibilty of a new eye drop.- MDA
by News Staff
Glaucoma, a condition where pressure builds from poor drainage of fluid from the anterior chamber of the eye, destroying retinal ganglion cells and eventually the optic nerve, is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. but a cure has been elusive because the basis of the disease is poorly understood. 
In glaucoma, the eye becomes like a bathtub that can’t drain because the pipe is clogged. The clogged or defective vessel, known as Schlemm’s canal, is part of the lymphatic system that is essential for drainage in the eye. 
A new study for the first time identifies the molecular building blocks needed to make the ‘drainage’ vessels, providing the necessary chemical tools to repair the eye’s plumbing and restore normal drainage. Up until now, the molecular basis of the disease caused by an absent or defective canal was unknown. Northwestern Medicine® scientists have discovered this novel cause of glaucoma in an animal model and are now developing an eye drop aimed at curing the disease.  
“This is a big step forward in understanding the cause of the disease that steals the eyesight from 60 million people worldwide,” said senior study author and Northwestern Medicine nephrologist Susan Quaggin, M.D. “This gives us a foothold to develop new treatments. Our goal now is to grow new ‘pipes’ or vessels to cure the glaucoma.” 
The findings are based on a new mouse model of glaucoma developed by Quaggin and Ph.D. student Ben Thomson, which is one of the first animal models of the disease. Quaggin expects the animal findings to be relevant in human glaucoma…..Read more: http://www.science20.com/news_articles/new_glaucoma_cause_discovered_could_lead_to_new_eye_drop-144548
 
source: Science 20

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