UNT Researchers Testing Drug to Prevent Blindness Caused by Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness.

Eye

A simple eye drop could revolutionize treatment for glaucoma and other similar conditions.

The Center for Neuroscience Discovery at the University of North Texas is conducting clinical trials for the drug, which prevents age-related macular degeneration, according to UNT.

“Our goal is to prevent neuron death using the eye drops, because once those neurons die they are gone forever,” said Katalin Prokai –Tatrai, PhD., associate professor at the Center for Neuroscience Discovery and the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the UNT System College of Pharmacy. “Our preliminary data is unprecedented and very promising in terms of preserving visual acuity.”

The drug remains inactive until it reaches the retina, leaving the rest of the eye unaffected. The idea is to prevent the neurons from dying because they can’t be replaced.

Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation

The $2.1 million five-year study was funded by the National Eye Institute and the National Institutes of Health.

If successful, the treatment could be paired with conventional medicine to prevent blindness.


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