Genetics

Researchers uncover genetic cause behind glaucoma

New research has identified a genetic mutation linked to a type of glaucoma, known as primary angle-closure glaucoma (PACG), which could open up new avenues for the early detection and treatment of the disease.

Genetics

Study of rare genetic disorder that effects the eyes

Nagano prefecture is home to a group of people affected with a rare genetic neurodegenerative disorder called familial amyloid polyneuropathies (FAP). This disease impacts the gene encoding protein transthyretin (TTR) which ...

Neuroscience

New method gives glaucoma researchers control over eye pressure

Neuroscientists at the University of South Florida have become the first to definitively prove pressure in the eye is sufficient to cause and explain glaucoma. They come to this conclusion following the development of a method ...

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Glaucoma

Glaucoma refers to a group of diseases that affect the optic nerve and involves a loss of retinal ganglion cells in a characteristic pattern. It is a type of optic neuropathy. Raised intraocular pressure is a significant risk factor for developing glaucoma (above 22 mmHg or 2.9 kPa). One person may develop nerve damage at a relatively low pressure, while another person may have high eye pressure for years and yet never develop damage. Untreated glaucoma leads to permanent damage of the optic nerve and resultant visual field loss, which can progress to blindness.

Glaucoma can be divided roughly into two main categories, "open angle" and "closed angle" glaucoma. Angle closure can appear suddenly and is often painful. Visual loss can progress quickly but the discomfort often leads patients to seek medical attention before permanent damage occurs. Open angle, chronic glaucoma tends to progress more slowly and the patient may not notice that they have lost vision until the disease has progressed significantly.

Glaucoma has been nicknamed the "sneak thief of sight" because the loss of vision normally occurs gradually over a long period of time and is often only recognized when the disease is quite advanced. Once lost, this damaged visual field can never be recovered. Worldwide, it is the second leading cause of blindness. Glaucoma affects one in two hundred people aged fifty and younger, and one in ten over the age of eighty. If the condition is detected early enough it is possible to arrest the development or slow the progression with medical and surgical means.

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