KKI Logo Glaucoma, an eye condition probably developed because of too much pressure building inside the eye leads to vision loss. A team of scientists from the Kennedy Krieger Institute has now figured out a new biological pathway that is involved in the development of glaucoma. The research findings can supposedly open doors to novel targets for future interventions.

The found location within the optic nerve head reportedly encompasses a class of cells known as astrocytes that have properties essential for the visual blinding taking place in glaucoma. In this site abnormal forms of a protein called gamma synuclein were supposedly witnessed. It was mentioned that the protein is known for its key role in cell loss among patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Researchers suggest that a biological process similar to Parkinson’s disease occurs in glaucoma at the newly discovered location.

In this anatomical location, astrocytes may remove the debris of neurons, the cells that die in neurodegenerative disorders like glaucoma. This process is apparently necessary for glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease and also for various neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, the research findings can seemingly aid in introducing treatments for glaucoma as well as a number of other neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Nicholas Marsh-Armstrong, senior investigator and a research scientist at Kennedy Krieger Institute and colleagues will be initiating additional investigations for analyzing this novel pathway and molecular/cellular mechanism.

The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.