Research

Questions & Answers Reprinted from Our Newsletters

I read about a study using alternating current stimulation to the brain to partially restore vision in patients with glaucoma and optic nerve damage. When will this treatment be available in Canada?

Although the study is promising, more research is needed to further explore the mechanisms of action including determining how long the stimulation lasts, the need for re-treatments for maintenance therapy, and reproducibility on a large scale.

Are any ophthalmologists in Toronto using stem cells to treat patients for open-angle glaucoma?

No. Many experimental studies are underway, but they are still in animal trials.

Has any research been done on the role of apoptosis in the development of glaucoma?

Apoptosis, programmed cell dying, does play a large role in glaucoma. Numerous ongoing studies in this area are looking at ways of preventing and detecting apoptosis.

Several studies have been supported by the Glaucoma Research Society of Canada. You may want to read about some of these research grant projects on our website.

Is stem cell research having positive implications for people with glaucoma? Are any stem cell trials taking place?

Stem cell research is still in its infancy in glaucoma. Target areas in the eye include repairing the internal drain of the eye or the area that helps you see in the retina. There are no known human trials using stem cells for glaucoma presently.

Is anyone doing stem cell research on repairing eyes damaged by glaucoma?

Stem cell research is currently an active area of interest for ophthalmology and for glaucoma treatment. Promising and ongoing research involves trying to regain function of the trabecular meshwork (internal drain of the eye) as well as regrowth/repair of retinal ganglion cells damaged due to glaucoma.

What about Glaucotab, a herbal treatment that I found on the Internet?

Do not use it. It has no scientific validity and should not be used until it is shown to work and not to be toxic.