The role of electric current changes in loss of vision in glaucoma patients, and their implication for treatment

Ron Ofri, PhD
Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Jerusalem, Israel)
Year Awarded:
2008
Grant Duration:
April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2011
Disease:
Glaucoma
Award Amount:
$100,000
Grant Reference ID:
G2008010
Award Type:
Standard
Award Region:
International
Ron Ofri, PhD

Expression of ion channels during ganglion cell apoptosis. Implications for the pathogenesis of glaucomatous optic neuropathy and relevance for neuroprotective treatment

Summary

This study investigates the ability of an epilepsy drug to reduce cell death related to glaucoma.

Details

Loss of vision in glaucoma patients is caused by death of ganglion cells in the retina. Therefore, preventing the death of these cells may preserve vision. To develop a drug to prevent cell death there must be an understanding of this process. The researchers believe that changes in electrical currents may be the 'trigger' that leads to cell death in glaucoma. Preventing these changes may halt cell death and loss of vision. Lamotrigine (used to treat epilepsy) is such an inhibitor. It will be tested in a rat glaucoma model to investigate its effect on the function and structure of the retina, and on molecular and genetic events in the ganglion cells. Positive results may lead to human testing.
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