Catalyst For a Cure: Glaucoma and the Brain

Catalyst For a Cure: Glaucoma and the Brain


Now this paper asked whether or not the brain
is involved; it’s an important question. So if you look at the connections in the brain,
here all the green you see are the ganglion cells’ processes, and this tracer that you
see, all the green, is showing you whether they are functionally connected back in the
brain. This is a healthy brain, and this is following glaucoma, and you can see there
is this big section that’s no longer green. That experiment comes about from just looking
at an old problem in a new way. It’s actually a simple concept. Until this time, most people
had looked at the cells in the retina and asked whether they looked sick or not, and
maybe the process in the optic nerve, so their nearest or most proximal process. And what
that experiment did, from the Calkins laboratory, was to really ask, that process of the ganglion
cells, as it actually connects in the brain, how does that process behave? So it’s simply
asking the reverse. It’s labeling the cell in the retina and asking how it interacts,
does it functionally interact, in the brain. And the surprising finding from that relatively
simple concept is that the entire visual pathway is involved in glaucoma, relatively early
in the disease. So it’s not necessarily a disease in which you can think of it only
occurring in the optic nerve head or in the retina proper, but that the visual pathway
is disturbed and the connections in the brain, which is the final pathway for vision, for
the integration of what you see in your environment, for that to occur, you have to have connections
in the brain. And these data really show that that connection is lost, it is diminished,
early in the disease. The visual system isn’t only the eye. It involves
the optic pathways and the brain, and these data really point us in a new direction. It
actually increases the workload, in some sense, because we have to now consider the brain,
and I don’t think that has been adequately considered in this disease. But it also suggests
that one can map the visual pathway in such a way that we may be able to determine when
vision is lost early in the disease, and that’s another critical question that we are all
very interested in. The point of this study is that it shows that
early in the disease, that not only are cells getting sick in the retina, but the ganglion
cell, its process, this cable that goes all the way back to the brain, begins to lose
its connectivity back in the brain early in the disease. So we think about this pathway,
we have to treat… we can’t treat the eye to treat glaucoma, we have to treat the entire
pathway. It’s a very important concept.

7 thoughts on “Catalyst For a Cure: Glaucoma and the Brain

  • How about steriod-included Glaucoma patients?

    Do you think we have Stone in Trabecular meskwork like we have Kidney Stone in open-anlge glaucoma ( especially in steriod-included galucoma). I have steriod-included Glaucoma and after trabeculectomy surgery, my doctor saw a lot of precipitate on my trabecular meskwork. We just find how to remove this precipitate may be IOP can back to normal. No need to cut a part of trabecular meskwork.

    TRABECULAR MESKWORK CELL is also important

  • Thank you so much. Now, we need a video telling us how the eye/optical nerve/brain eye connexions should be treated, or at least, which protocol for prevention…

  • I know this is an old video but i would be interested in how this would be affected if the brain was missing the corpus callosum between the 2 halves of the brain.

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