Scientists have revealed that they have discovered a novel cause of glaucoma in an animal model and are developing an eye drop aimed at curing the disease.
The new study for the first time identifies the molecular building blocks needed to make the 'drainage' vessels, providing the necessary chemical tools to repair the eye's plumbing and restore normal drainage. Up until now, the molecular basis of the disease caused by an absent or defective canal was unknown.
Senior study author and Northwestern Medicine nephrologist Susan Quaggin said that this is a big step forward in understanding the cause of the disease that steals the eyesight from 60 million people worldwide, which gives them a foothold to develop new treatments.
The findings are based on a new mouse model of glaucoma developed by the researchers is one of the first animal models of the disease and researchers expect the animal findings to be relevant in human glaucoma.
The researchers have developed a highly potent peptide nanostructure that has the capacity to interact with many receptors at the same time, which will amplify the required signaling pathway for an effective therapy. The nanostructure is also being designed to have the necessary half-life to optimize efficacy.
The study was The Journal of Clinical Investigation.