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Exp Eye Res. 2010 Nov;91(5):554-66. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2010.08.009. Epub 2010 Aug 26.

Neuroprotection in glaucoma - Is there a future role?

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Glaucoma and Retinal Neurodegeneration Research Group, Visual Neurosciences Department, University College London Institute of Ophthalmology, Bath Street, London EC1V 9EL, United Kingdom.


In glaucoma, the major cause of global irreversible blindness, there is an urgent need for treatment modalities that directly target the RGCs. The discovery of an alternative therapeutic approach, independent of IOP reduction, is highly sought after, due to the indirect nature and limited effectiveness of IOP lowering therapy in preventing RGC loss. Several mechanisms have been implicated in initiating the apoptotic cascade in glaucomatous retinopathy and numerous drugs have been shown to be neuroprotective in animal models of glaucoma. These mechanisms and their potential treatment include excitotoxicity, protein misfolding, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, inflammation and neurotrophin deprivation. All of these mechanisms ultimately lead to programmed cell death with loss of RGCs. In this article we summarize the mechanisms involved in glaucomatous disease, highlight the rationale for neuroprotection in glaucoma management and review current potential neuroprotective strategies targeting RGCs from the laboratory to the clinic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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