Targeting Oxidative Stress for Treatment of Glaucoma and Optic Neuritis

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Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease of the eye and it is one of the leading causes of blindness. Glaucoma is characterized by progressive degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and their axons, namely, the optic nerve, usually associated with elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). Current glaucoma therapies target reduction of IOP, but since RGC death is the cause of irreversible vision loss, neuroprotection may be an effective strategy for glaucoma treatment. One of the risk factors for glaucoma is increased oxidative stress, and drugs with antioxidative properties including valproic acid and spermidine, as well as inhibition of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1, an enzyme that is involved in oxidative stress, have been reported to prevent glaucomatous retinal degeneration in mouse models of glaucoma. Optic neuritis is a demyelinating inflammation of the optic nerve that presents with visual impairment and it is commonly associated with multiple sclerosis, a chronic demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Although steroids are commonly used for treatment of optic neuritis, reduction of oxidative stress by approaches such as gene therapy is effective in ameliorating optic nerve demyelination in preclinical studies. In this review, we discuss oxidative stress as a therapeutic target for glaucoma and optic neuritis.




Kimura, A., Namekata, K., Guo, X., Noro, T., Harada, C., & Harada, T. (2017). Targeting Oxidative Stress for Treatment of Glaucoma and Optic Neuritis. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. Hindawi Limited.

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