What Are the Challenges in Treating Glaucoma?

Read Transcript

About 4% of the adult population, one out of 25 will develop glaucoma. Glaucoma has been known for many years. We've had treatments for Glaucoma that are reasonably effective at preventing loss of vision. At the same time, a third of all people in the United States diagnosed with glaucoma when first diagnosed have already lost vision.

What we don't have is a way of regaining sight for those patients. We have a way of diagnosing them and of treating them. We have effective drops, lasers and operations, but we don't have a way of getting back their sight. It is very sad to see someone progressively lose vision. To say we're doing the best we can can and not bring back sight.

Now, there is exciting work to suggest that may be possible. In rats and in mice, it's been shown that you can take optic nerves that have been destroyed, and they can reconnect with relatively simple molecular gymnastics. Not difficult. Not complicated.