Neurology Central

Management of glaucoma as a neurodegenerative disease

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Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease with an estimated prevalence of 60 million people, and the most common cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. The mainstay of treatment has been aimed at lowering intraocular pressure, currently the only modifiable risk factor. Unfortunately, despite adequate pressure control, many patients go on to suffer irreversible visual loss. We first briefly examine currently established intraocular pressure lowering-treatments, with a discussion of their roles in neuroprotection as demonstrated by both animal and clinical studies. The review then examines currently available intraocular pressure independent agents that have shown promise for possessing neuroprotective effects in the management of glaucoma. Finally, we explore potential future treatments such as immune-modulation, stem cell therapy and neural regeneration as they may provide further protection against the neurodegenerative processes involved in glaucomatous optic neuropathy.
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