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New Glaucoma Treatment In the Making

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Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases usually caused by the buildup of pressure within the eye. Untreated, glaucoma leads to permanent and disabling vision loss known as ‘Tunnel Vision.’ This condition affects 80 million people worldwide and is a leading cause of major vision loss, causing up to 12% of blindness in the U.S.

Currently, there is no cure for glaucoma, so patients have relied on medicated eye drops, oral medicine or laser treatment. Primary congenital glaucoma, a severe form of glaucoma that affects children between the ages of one and three, can only be treated with surgery.

What if we told you that there may be a new way to treat glaucoma on the horizon?

A Northwestern Medicine study in mice has revealed new treatment targets for glaucoma, including the prevention of the severe pediatric form of the disease and the discovery of a prospective new class of therapy for the most prevalent form of glaucoma in adults.

The researchers used gene editing to create new glaucoma models in mice that were similar to primary congenital glaucoma. The scientists were able to replace the function of genes that cause glaucoma by injecting Hepta-ANGPT1, a new, non-toxic, long-lasting protein treatment into mice.

The scientists were also able to prevent glaucoma from occurring in one mouse model with this injectable medication. When the same therapy was injected into the eyes of healthy adult mice, it reduced eye pressure, indicating that it could be a new class of therapy for the most prevalent cause of glaucoma in adults.

Scientists are now designing human studies and working on an appropriate way to deliver human patients the new protein treatment.

Contact Associates in Eye Care in Somerset to learn more about glaucoma and ways it can be treated.

At Associates in Eye Care, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 606-678-4551 or book an appointment online to see one of our Somerset eye doctors.

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Q&A

How can I prevent vision loss from glaucoma?

The key to protecting vision from glaucoma damage is early detection, which can be achieved through regular comprehensive eye exams.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

Glaucoma is known as ‘the silent thief’' because it steals your eyesight without any warning signs until it’s too late to prevent vision loss. Depending on the type of glaucoma you have, you may experience: blurry vision, vision loss, pain or strain in your eye, or see rings or halos around lights.