UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA INVESTIGATORS have made a significant advance in the effort to diagnose and treat glaucoma.

The research team discovered that a novel feedback pathway from the brain to the eye modulates eye pressure. As the nerve exits the eye, the heightened pressure applies mechanical strain to the optic nerve, causing vision loss and potential blindness.

The results are the first to show a physiologic connection between the brain and the eye. The neuroscientists came to their conclusion by altering brain pressure in animal models and noting changes in the eye’s fluid drainage properties that could be blocked by chemicals that eliminate feedback signals from the brain.

Future studies will focus on pinpointing the location of the brain cells that send signals to the eye and finding which optical nerve fibers the brain mediates. This will help physicians better diagnose glaucoma and improve understanding of what causes it to develop.


REFERENCE

Neuroscientists discover brain pressure controls eye pressure, revealing new avenues for glaucoma treatment. University of South Florida. January 13, 2020. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://www.usf.edu/news/2020/neuroscientists-discover-brain-pressure-controls-eye-pressure.aspx