Degeneration of retinal ganglion cells in your eye could prove to be the answer as to why glaucoma eye disease, when not discovered early, results in total irreversible vision loss. Researchers now theorize that retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) play a vital part in your ability to see, but the cells do degenerate and die off. They are in general agreement that retinal ganglion cells connect your eye to your brain by way of the optic nerve. Clinical trials now involve the targeting of RGC cells with a view to preserving them.
Targeting Retinal Ganglion Cells With Medications
Researchers recommend that clinical trials should promote the method of injecting medications into the eyes of patients who suffer from glaucoma. The scientists suggest that the injected medications will offer RGC cells in your eyes survival and growth factors.
Planning For Delivery Of Medications When Human Trials Begin
Experts compare the medications to similar medications that are used to treat stroke and Alzheimer's patients. They advance the recommendation that medications be ultimately delivered to your eyes and transported through small electrodes implanted with external devices such as contact lenses. All of the theories are expected to take place when human trials through stem cell therapies are put into practice.
Research Focus On Regenerating Retinal Ganglion Cells
The race is on to learn the mechanisms that promote degeneration of retinal ganglion cells with a view to protecting these ganglion cells from degenerating and ultimately dying. The scientists are also hoping to find a way to possibly regenerate the dying ganglion cells in your eyes and save your vision during this process.
Departure From Belief That Eye Pressure Only Causes Glaucoma Disease
This forward-thinking discovery of degenerating retinal ganglion cells and how to save them somewhat shelves the practical belief and theory that glaucoma is caused only by abnormal high pressure inside your eyes. Intraocular eye pressure (IOP) has been the measuring point for treating your glaucoma disease over the years. Your ophthalmologist has no doubt warned you about IOP and tests your eyes to measure this pressure during your annual eye examination.
IOP has been the main focus for new development of new medications in the past. Your eye doctor is certainly not going to banish treating your unusually high IOP reading, but that measurement will not take center stage as the only method available for your use now that interest about ganglion cell degeneration is growing.
Accepting Theory That Neurologic Disorder Breeds Cell Degeneration
Scientists are viewing glaucoma on a wider scale that considers glaucoma as a neurologic disorder involving cell degeneration and consequent death of the cells and particularly your eyes' retinal ganglion cells. Continued research into death of cells may eventually lead researchers to find future possible treatments that could benefit other degenerative eye diseases like macular degeneration that you may also suffer from.
For more information about glaucoma, visit Coastal Eye Care.