Protecting and Regenerating the Optic Nerve

A medical illustration showing a cross-section of the head emphasizing the eye and first part of the optic nerve.


Unlike most cells in the body, which repair themselves, the optic nerve cells that provide us with vision do not regrow once damaged.

Ultimately, glaucoma threatens sight by damaging the optic nerve, at the back of the eye which carries light signals from the eye to the brain.

BrightFocus supports both research that is looking for ways to protect optic nerve cells threatened as glaucoma progresses, as well as research to find ways to regenerate and repair cell after vision loss.

The biggest focus of our efforts is to replace and reconnect retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), nerve cells that make up the optic nerve and carry visual signals over long tails (axons) extending from the eye to the brain. This is a sophisticated undertaking, given how RGCs are wired into the brain.