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Researchers Discover New Cause Of Glaucoma

Update Date: Sep 10, 2014 08:35 AM EDT

Researchers have discovered a novel cause of glaucoma in an animal model, according to  a new study. Based on the study findings, researchers are also developing an eye drop aimed at curing the disease. 

A cure for glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S. Its cure has been elusive because the basis of the disease is poorly understood. 

Glaucoma causes building of pressure from poor drainage of fluid from the anterior chamber of the eye, destroying retinal ganglion cells and eventually the optic nerve. 

The study has identified 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. 

"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," added Quaggin, also the Charles Mayo Chair of Medicine at Feinberg.

The study has been published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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