Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Eye drops with nerve growth factor may help glaucoma

Following a Canadian Press story, HealthDay (8/4, Mozes) reported that, according to a study published online Aug. 3 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, researchers from Italy's University of Rome "found that the topical use of nerve growth factor" in eye drops "spares retinal ganglion cells from nerve damage caused by the build-up of eye pressure associated with glaucoma." Focusing "on using nerve growth factor in eye drops to treat dozens of rats in whom glaucoma was induced," the team "documented a significant drop in the rate of retinal cell death." Next, the investigators "tested the nerve growth factor eye drops on three patients with advanced glaucoma." Not only did "the vision of two of the patients actually" improve "and the vision of the third patient" stabilize, but "the observed improvements in visual field, optic nerve function, contrast sensitivity and visual acuity remained in place 18 months after the first eye drops were administered," the authors said. (courtesy AOA)

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