Mechanisms of ganglion cell injury in glaucoma [ 2006 - 2008 ]

Also known as: A study of the causes of retinal damage in glaucoma

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: A/Pr Bang Bui (Principal investigator)

Brief description The aim of this project is to improve our understanding of the role that increased eye pressure (intraocular pressure or IOP) plays in the development of glaucoma-related nerve death and associated vision loss. Despite being the second leading cause of vision loss in Australia, our understanding of the factors that damage nerves in the eye (the ganglion cells that carry visual information to the brain) in glaucoma remains incomplete. For example, elevated eye pressure is a well-established risk factor for glaucoma, but as many as half of those with glaucoma do not have high eye pressure. Clinical data suggests that pressure fluctuations (or spikes), which go unnoticed in routine clinical check ups, may be involved in glaucoma onset and progression. To date there has been no direct evidence to support this contention. This project aims to use a novel experimental model of pressure elevation in rodents to consider this possibility. By measuring the eye's electrical response to a flash of light it is possible to sensitively assess how pressure spikes, that are known to occur with regularity in humans, might affect the health of retinal ganglion cells. Anatomical measures will also be used to establish the sequence of events that cause cellular damage. This knowledge is an important public health issue, because it will improve understanding of the risk factors for the development of glaucoma. The results may lead to improvements in detection and treatment strategies such as closer monitoring for pressure spikes and more aggressive treatment for those who show greater variability in their eye pressures.

Funding Amount $AUD 299,452.77

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes New Investigator Grant

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