Thursday, July 16, 2009

Interesting developments in Glaucoma research

In the New York Times (7/15) Times Essentials: Reporter's File, Peter Jaret observed that "a new paradigm for understanding glaucoma has emerged. Glaucoma isn't simply an eye disease, experts now say, but rather a degenerative nerve disorder, not unlike Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease." While "researchers still recognize high pressure within the eye as a leading risk factor for glaucoma," it is becoming clear that the condition "begins with injury to the optic nerve as it exits the back of the eye. The damage then spreads, moving from one nerve cell to adjoining nerve cells." Neeru Gupta, MD, PhD, of the University of Toronto, explained, "In glaucoma, we've shown that when your retinal ganglion cells are sick, the long axons that project from the eye into the brain are also affected, resulting in changes that we can detect in the vision center of the brain." This "phenomenon, called transynaptic damage, occurs in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, as well." (courtesy AOA)

This research should help us understand and develop new treatments that address the root problems with Glaucoma.

1 comment:

Michael Edson, MS, L.Ac. said...

Diet and specific nutrient supplementation can both help prevent the onset of glaucoma as well as help preserve vision for those with glaucoma.

There are number of peer review studies that show the importance of supplementing with a specific nutrients can help protect the optic nerve from damage including the following: alpha lipoid acid, bilberry, pine bark, gingko biloba, taurine, magnesium, vitamin B12,

Other studies have shown that a healthy diet which included, for example, at least 1 serving of green leafy vegetables such as kale and collard greens, decreased the risk of getting glaucoma for women by 69 percent (Coleman AL, Stone KL, Kodjebacheva G, Yu F, Pedula KL, Ensrud KE, Cauley JA, Hochberg MC, Topouzis F, Badala F, Mangione C ; Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Research Group)

Daily eye exercises also help maintain healthy vision. For a demo of 3 great eye exercises by Dr. Grossman, one of the Country's leading behavioral optometrists, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W10j2fL0hy0

For more related research studies, see the "Research" section at Natural Eye Care for Glaucoma Prevention