Posted on 15th April 2012
The stress of the intermittent low-oxygen levels promoted a protective response called ‘tolerance’ which makes the nerve cells less prone to damage. Normal mice with glaucoma lost an average of 30% of nerve cells after 10 weeks with the condition, but the mice that were exposed to the oxygen stress lost only 3% of nerve cells.
This research potentially has application in other neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Previous research we highlighted on this blog shows an increasing interest the theory of classing glaucoma as a neurodegenerative condition rather than related to decreased blood supply or mechanical pressure as traditionally thought.