Light at the end of the tunnel? Advances in the understanding and treatment of glaucoma and inherited retinal degeneration

Ron Ofri*, Kristina Narfström

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Glaucoma and inherited retinal degeneration/dystrophy are leading causes of blindness in veterinary patients. Currently, there is no treatment for the loss of vision that characterizes both groups of diseases. However, this reality may soon change as recent advances in understanding of the disease processes allow researchers to develop new therapies aimed at preventing blindness and restoring vision to blind patients. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms of retinal ganglion cell death in glaucoma patients has led to the development of neuroprotective drugs which protect retinal cells and their function from the disastrous effects of elevated pressure. Identification of the genetic mutation responsible for inherited degenerations and dystrophies of the outer retina has enabled researchers using gene therapy to restore vision to blind dogs. Other patients may benefit from retinal transplantation, stem cell therapy, neuroprotective drugs, nutritional supplementation and even retinal prostheses. It is possible that soon it will be possible to restore sight to some blind patients.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)10-22
Number of pages13
JournalVeterinary Journal
Volume174
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by the Joseph Alexander Foundation and the Alberto Moscona Foundation (RO) and by the University of Missouri Research Board (KN).

Keywords

  • Gene therapy
  • Glaucoma
  • Neuroprotection
  • Retinal degeneration
  • Retinal dystrophy

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