Jackson Labs research finds early glaucoma detection

Posted March 09, 2011, at 11:50 a.m.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — Researchers at The Jackson Laboratory say they’ve designed a technique that detects early stages of glaucoma in mice, enabling them to successfully block the disease.

The research team analyzed genomic data from mice that typically develop glaucoma. Using this data, they identified many changes that occur before detectable damage from glaucoma occurs.

Jackson Laboratory professor Simon W. M. John led the research, which was reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness, affects more than 4 million Americans. The best-known symptom of glaucoma is elevated pressure inside the eye. But blinding damage to retinal ganglion cells and the optic nerve can occur in patients with normal eye pressure. Earlier detection and treatment could have a powerful impact on preventing blindness due to glaucoma, researchers say.

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