Novel neuroprotective strategies for glaucoma

Adriana Di Polo, PhD
University of Montreal (Montreal, Canada)
Year Awarded:
2008
Grant Duration:
April 1, 2008 to September 30, 2010
Disease:
Glaucoma
Award Amount:
$100,000
Grant Reference ID:
G2008027
Award Type:
Standard
Award Region:
International

Co-principal Investigators

Christian Casanova, PhD
School of Optometry, University of Montreal

Novel drug-based neuroprotective therapies for glaucoma

Summary

This study will investigate the clinical potential of galantamine, a member of the acetylcholinesterase family, for the treatment of glaucoma. The study may lead to more effective drug-based therapies for treatment, and provide insight for the design of small molecule neuroprotective compounds with high specificity and few side effects.

Details

At present, there is no cure for glaucoma and the only treatment available is to lower intraocular pressure using drugs or surgery. A significant proportion of patients continue to have disease progression and vision loss despite successful reduction of eye pressure. Thus, current therapeutic strategies for glaucoma are insufficient and new approaches to slow disease progression are urgently needed. This study will investigate the clinical potential of galantamine, a member of the acetylcholinesterase family, for the treatment of glaucoma. Galantamine as neuroprotective therapy in glaucoma has several competitive advantages including: efficacy to delay retinal ganglion cell (RGC) degeneration in experimental glaucoma, clinical history for Alzheimer's disease that could lead to rapid clinical start-up, good safety profile, and excellent drug pharmacokinetics. The researchers will determine whether galantamine can protect vision after sustained periods of ocular hypertension damage. They will also elucidate the mechanisms by which galantamine confers RGC neuroprotection in glaucoma. The study may lead to more effective drug-based therapies for treatment, and provide insight for the design of small molecule neuroprotective compounds with high specificity and few side effects.

Publications

Almasieh, M., Zhou, Y., Kelly, M.E.M., Casanova, C. and Di Polo, A. (2010) Structural and functional neuroprotection in glaucoma: role of galantamine-mediated activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. Cell Death and Disease, 1: e27 PubMed Icon Google Scholar Icon