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Brain holds first signs of glaucoma

Predominantly considered a disease of the eye, scientists have discovered that the first signs of injury in glaucoma actually take place in the brain. The details of the discovery are in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The revelation will prompt researchers to look at glaucoma in a new light. Typically, glaucoma therapies have revolved around lowering ocular pressure within the eye. The increased ocular pressure causes damage to the retina and optic nerve (both parts of the central nervous system). Blindness is the end result if glaucoma is not detected early. The results of this new study, however, directs the focus to studying neuronal activity in the middle of the brain where the optic nerve forms its first connections. This new approach to addressing glaucoma will lead to new targets for potential treatment of the debilitating disease.* Andrea Schumann Staff Writer

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