A team of ophthalmologists and scientists from around the world are working together to discover the cause of glaucoma that runs in a large family from a small village in Southern India, Kyalapatam. The team includes ophthalmologists from the Aravind Eye Hospitals in India (Drs. Mohideen Kader, R. Ramakrishnan, and S. R. Krishnadas), Hadassah-Hebrew University in Israel (Dr. Sarika Ramugade), and The University of Iowa and Johns Hopkins University in the United States (Drs. Robin and Fingert). Scientists at the Aravind Medical Research Foundation in India (Drs. Sundaresan and Namburi) and the United States (Dr. Fingert and Ben Roos) have teamed up to search for the gene that causes glaucoma in this family. Read more about this research here.
Fri, 07/01/2016 - 10:30
Thu, 06/09/2016 - 17:30
The Glaucoma Genetics Lab identified the sequestosome (SQSTM1) gene as a top candidate for causing glaucoma that occurs at low intraocular pressure, that is normal tension glaucoma (NTG). The sequestosome gene encodes a protein that has an important role in the cellular processes called autophagy, which is a mechanism by which cells digest some of their contents in times of stress. Autophagy is essential to the health of all cells, but excess autophagy may cause cells to self-destruct. In prior studies we showed that defects in other autophagy genes (i.e. the TBK1 gene) are linked with optic nerve damage in glaucoma. Consequently, it was a good hypothesis that mutations in SQSTM1, another autophagy gene might also cause some cases of glaucoma. However, our study of over 500 subjects did not detect glaucoma-causing mutations in the SQSTM1 gene. Read more about the study here.
Sun, 05/29/2016 - 11:30
The Glaucoma Genetics Lab has teamed up with other members of the WIVR to develop an automated way to test lab animals for glaucoma. The method is based on counting each of the ~40,000 nerve fibers in the optic nerve in mice and uses advanced image analysis techniques. Read more about it here.