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National Glaucoma Research
Completed Award

Dr. Adriana Di Polo

Adriana Di Polo, Ph.D.

University of Montreal
Montreal, Canada

Title: Novel drug-based neuroprotective therapies for glaucoma
Non-Technical Title: Novel neuroprotective strategies for glaucoma

Co-PI(s):
Christian Casanova, Ph.D.
School of Optometry, University of Montreal

Duration: April 1, 2008 - September 30, 2010
Award Type: Standard
Award Amount: $100,000

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