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Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2000 Apr;11(2):107-11.

Neuroprotection: a new treatment modality for glaucoma?

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  • 1Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


It is now commonly accepted that glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease of the optic nerve. Thus, at any given time, there are neurons that, though still viable, are vulnerable to the hostile extracellular milieu and are therefore amenable to neuroprotective therapy. Neuroprotection refers to any intervention, either external to the optic nerve or internally, that will lead to an intracellular change in the balance between survival and death signals in favor of survival. Several potential sites and modalities for such intervention may exist. When designing neuroprotective therapy, ways must be sought to recruit the physiologic self-repair mechanisms awakened by the primary or secondary risk factors. These mechanisms appear to be insufficiently effective when in their natural state, but they may be simulated or boosted by appropriate therapeutic compounds or cells.

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