Hypothalamic Control of Translaminar Pressure Gradients
For a long time, scientists believed that glaucoma was caused by damage to the nerve in the back of the eye when the pressure inside the eye was too high. Recently, there has been new evidence that pressure inside the brain is also important. We will focus on finding out how the brain controls the pressure in the eye and the brain in an attempt to find new treatment options for patients with glaucoma.
An increase in eye pressure can damage the optic nerve and lead to glaucoma. However, new studies have shown that an eye pressure change may not be the only situation that can cause an increased risk of developing glaucoma. Dr. Brian Samuels and colleagues will study how certain cells within the brain controls the pressure inside both the eye and the brain, because they believe that changes to the pressure in the brain may be just as important in glaucoma. Using rat models, they will identify the exact location of the brain cells that control some of the daily changes in the eye and brain pressure. Once they locate these brain cells, they could be the target for new glaucoma therapies. In addition, discovering how the brain cells control both eye and brain pressure could lead to new treatments of other diseases that affect the brain and nerves.