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A Journal on Ophthalmology
Minerva Oftalmologica 2002 June;44(2):71-8
Neuroprotection of retinal ganglion cells in experimental models of glaucoma. A review
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that is characterized by gradual loss of vision. It is one of the major causes of blindness. The loss of vision occurs as a result of degeneration of the retinal ganglion cells and their axons. Although the etiology of glaucoma is still not very well understood, chronically elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) has been one of the better known risk factors. Consequently the main treatment of glaucoma has been controlling the pressure pharmacologically and surgically. However, despite successful control of IOP patients continue to lose their sight. Recently neuroprotection of the ganglion cells has been considered as a way of glaucoma treatment. The chronic nature of pathology of glaucoma makes it amenable to such treatment. This review highlights the insults that are responsible for ganglion cell death, description of experimental models that are used to study the process of disease and compounds that have shown neuroprotective activity in these models.