Glaucoma May Be An Autoimmune Disease, According to Study

Aug 15, 2018 | Autoimmune Disease, Glaucoma

The Health Site reports  Glaucoma often goes undiscovered and the patients might not realize they have the condition until half of their retinal ganglion cells have been lost.

A new study described Glaucoma as an autoimmune disease, it is basically an eye disease which affects nearly 70 million people across the world. Inside your eye a high fluid pressure causes Glaucoma. In the front part of the eye, the fluid doesn’t circulate the way it should. This condition often occurs as people age and the ducts that allow fluid to drain from the eye become blocked. Initially, the disease often goes undiscovered and the patients might not realize they have the condition until half of their retinal ganglion cells have been lost. An autoimmune disease is a condition in which the immune system attacks the body’s own cells.

According to the PTI report, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, reportedly said that glaucoma is something of a mystery despite its prevalence.

We don’t know much about the origins of the disease, which damages the retina and optic nerve and can lead to blindness.

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications. It was conducted with mice and they showed that the body’s own T cells are responsible for the progressive retinal degeneration seen in glaucoma.

Researchers said that these T cells appear to be primed to attack retinal neurons as the result of previous interactions with bacteria that normally live in our body.

By blocking this autoimmune activity, it could be possible to develop new treatments for glaucoma, according to the researchers.

Jianzhu Chen, a professor at MIT reportedly said, “This opens a new approach to prevent and treat glaucoma.”

Research/Investigative Site

MIT

Lead Research/Investigator

Jianzhu Chen, Professor

Research Investigator

Category: Glaucoma

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