New ways to fight and identify glaucoma
The latest research has found new ways of understanding and fighting glaucoma.
According to the study conducted by the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, 2 unique short molecules that regulate gene expression have been identified in the eye fluid of patients with 2 unique types of glaucoma that worsens vision.
These differentially expressed microRNAs lean towards finding more genes linked with glaucoma, providing more evidence about how these glaucoma types damage the optic nerve, and potential ways of intervention, stated the scientist.
Dr. Yutao Lu, lead author of the study, claims that finding the pathways involved may be beneficial in reversing the condition, finding better targets and formulating better drugs. Presently, only a few known genetic mutations have been identified that account for about 10% of glaucoma states Liu.
Differential expression indicates the microRNA or miRNA – expression might be higher or lower in various conditions, but the fact that they are remarkably different makes them of significant and potential help in better knowing and treating a leading cause of vision loss worldwide, Liu states.
The researchers observed miRNA in the aqueous humour that nurtures the front of the eye in 12 patients with primary open angle glaucoma, another group of 12 patient with rare and even more tough to treat exfoliating glaucoma, and compared the miRNA profile of each to that of 11 people with healthy eyes of same age.
Daily, everyone loses about 2 million nerve fibres in the optic nerve and we can lose 50% - 60% of them without affecting our vision. But glaucoma speeds up the loss and these two glaucoma types go about that damage in several ways.
The Glaucoma foundation states the less common and more severe exfoliation glaucoma arises in people with exfoliation syndrome, which increases their chance of glaucoma about 6 times.
In this type of glaucoma, cells that normally secrete proteins unaccountably start to secrete more and the protein cluster is too big to pass through the eye’s normal fluid outflow pathway. A cross-linking enzyme was also secreted at high levels in these patients, which efficiently fastens these pieces that resemble dandruff. Secondary injury obviously arises in the coloured part of the eye, the iris, as a pigment, also begins to cast off, adding to the pile of trash in the eye.
This type of glaucoma is all about high pressure and traditional eye drops are of no help. Outflow pathways reopened by procedure swiftly become blocked again. Liu states that abnormal protein secretions happen in other parts of the body as well as exfoliation syndrome, but seems to be problematic only in the eye.
A common type of glaucoma can be treated using eye drops that improves outflow or reduce fluid production that lowers the risk of eye damage in most patients.
The aqueous humour in eyes helps to support the eye’s shape and allows waste removal. The fluid comes from the general circulation and gets dumped back into it. High blood pressure has an impact on eye pressure and exercise can help reduce eye pressure. Eye pressure can be reactive like blood pressure. Our intraocular pressure tends to be highest in the morning and lowest when we are lying down and sleeping, states the author.