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Nerve cell protecting chemical slows down glaucoma

A recent study published in Neurotherapeutics suggests that the chemical compound citicoline may be beneficial in slowing down glaucoma.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness. The study was conducted by researchers at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and focused on the aqueous humor on which the eye's function depends. Increased intraocular pressure (IOP) in glaucoma patients can wear down the cells in the eye and the nerves that connect the eye to the brain. Even when the IOP is controlled, glaucoma can still worsen.

The study, which involved rats, demonstrated that optic nerve signals were restored to almost normal levels by the rats' ingestion of the chemical compound citicoline. Citicoline is naturally produced in the brain but is also commercially available. Choline is a building block in the membranes that line nerve cells and improve the quality of nerve cell communication.

Additional research is needed and researchers will be studying the origin of why choline levels decrease in glaucoma patients as well as how citcoline works to reverse the damage.

 

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