Thu, 01/30/2014 - 15:00
We recently published a report of our stem-cell based studies of glaucoma in the prestigious JOURNAL OF STEM CELL RESEARCH & THERAPY. Normal tension glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve that occurs without high pressure in the eye. We previously discovered that a duplication of the TBK1 gene is responsible for some cases of normal tension glaucoma. We believe that the TBK1 gene duplication alters the metabolism of the optic nerve and causes glaucoma. In this new publication we report the first example of using adult stem-cell technology to grow optic nerve cells (retinal ganglion cells) from a glaucoma patient’s skin in a culture dish. We have grown optic nerve cells from a skin biopsy taken from one of our patient’s that has normal tension glaucoma caused by a TBK1 gene duplication. This major development has provided us with the means to use laboratory methods to study what goes wrong in the optic nerve cells of patients with TBK1 gene duplications. A copy of our article describing this work is available here.