Glaucoma is known as a disease of aging, the kind that creeps up on people and slowly robs them of vision. But a researcher at the University of Nebraska Medical Center has traced the roots of a common form of the eye disease to a much earlier time, literally the earliest days of human growth and development.
The discovery, published recently in the journal Stem Cells, may offer opportunities for earlier diagnosis of the disease as well as new treatment options.
Iqbal Ahmad, a professor in the ophthalmology and visual sciences department at UNMC, said there are several forms of glaucoma, which ranks as the second-leading cause of blindness and affects approximately 3 million people in the United States and some 60 million worldwide.
All forms, said Ahmad, who led the team of researchers, have one thing in common: Cells inside the eye known as retinal ganglion cells, which extend from the retina and give rise to the optic nerve, begin to degenerate. The optic nerve carries visual messages from the eye to the brain.
The condition typically comes on with little notice and few symptoms, creeping up so slowly that patients often dont notice until their optic nerve is compromised and, with it, their vision. The loss begins on the periphery. Many unconsciously compensate by turning their heads.
Thats why they call it the silent robber of vision, Ahmad said.
High pressure inside the eye is a risk factor for glaucoma, he said. But in some cases, patients with normal eye pressures suffer optic nerve degeneration. Such cases were one of the factors that led Ahmad and his team to look to the early days of development.
Ahmad said the team hypothesized that the retinal ganglion cells, which form during gestation, were somehow vulnerable or even flawed from the start in those who develop glaucoma.
To study them, however, they had to go back to those early stages of development. So the researchers took blood from adults with primary open angle glaucoma, which affects 90 percent of glaucoma patients, and reprogrammed the blood cells back into an earlier state, known as induced pluripotent stem cells. Such cells, by definition, have the potential to differentiate into a number of different cell types, from bone to heart, with the right programming.
The team figured out how to make them differentiate into retinal ganglion cells in an unlimited supply they could use for research. Pooja Teotia, a post-doctoral scholar in Ahmads lab, played a crucial role in the work.
The stem cell model was based on a gene variation known to be associated with primary open angle glaucoma. About 40 percent of Caucasians have at least one copy, said Dr. Shane Havens, a glaucoma specialist at UNMCs Truhlsen Institute who is familiar with Ahmads work. More than 99 percent of people of African descent have it, which partially explains why African-Americans have higher rates of glaucoma.
Ahmad stressed that the process did not involve the use of embryonic stem cells. Research based on embryonic cell lines has been controversial because the original cells were derived from human embryos. The ethical dilemma we used to face has been circumvented, he said.
The researchers then compared the retinal ganglion cells derived from the glaucoma patients blood with those from a healthy adult who didnt have glaucoma. The glaucoma patient-derived cells differed in form, function and gene expression.
They even looked different, Ahmad said. The nerves that came out of the young retinal ganglion cells looked much weaker and smaller than the normal retinal ganglion cells. At the functional level, they were not behaving normally.
Ahmad said the team is excited about the next steps. Being able to study the abnormal cells in a dish is giving the researchers an amazing amount of information about what might have gone wrong at the molecular level as well as along the intricate signaling pathways in their development.
Both offer the potential for earlier diagnosis and for new treatments. Ideally they would be able to identify patients who might develop the disease decades down the road and treat them before degeneration occurs.
Havens said treatments for glaucoma currently involve lowering eye pressure with medication, lasers or surgery. But that often comes after people have lost a significant portion of the optic nerve.
About 2 percent of people in the United States have glaucoma, but about half of them dont know it.
This would allow us to start earlier in patients who are at risk, he said.
Ahmad said the researchers also are working to see whether they can correct abnormalities in the cells and to determine whether they would find their way and connect with the brain. If that works they may be able to transplant them into patients who already have the disease and reverse the degeneration.
Were seeing some encouraging signs, he said.
Havens said the work, particularly the stem cell technique involved, also has broader implications for the study and treatment of other diseases, such as Parkinsons disease, that involve the nervous system.
Its exciting work, for sure, he said.
The only sure way to diagnose glaucoma, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, is with a complete eye exam. A glaucoma screening that checks only eye pressure is not enough to find glaucoma.
So when should someone have an eye exam? According to the group, adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease should have a comprehensive medical eye evaluation at age 40, if they havent had one already. After age 40, the recommended interval is:
Age 40 to 55, every two to four years
Age 55 to 64, every one to three years
Age 65 and older, every one to two years
For those at higher risk of certain diseases, including African-Americans and Hispanics who are at higher risk for glaucoma, comprehensive eye exams should be considered:
Under age 40, every two to four years
Age 40 to 54, every one to three years
Age 55 to 64, every one to two years
- Assessing the Fallout From the Coronavirus Pandemic New Report on the Stem Cell Therapy Market 2019-2026 - 3rd Watch News - May 25th, 2020
- Stem Cell Therapy Market Size, Analysis, Top Key Vendors, Industry Growth, Opportunity and Forecast by 2026 - WaterCloud News - May 25th, 2020
- Assessing the Fallout From the Coronavirus Pandemic Cell Isolation Technology Market Globally Expected to Drive Growth through 2026 - Jewish Life... - May 25th, 2020
- Stem Cell Alopecia Treatment Market Size, Analysis, Top Key Vendors, Industry Growth, Opportunity and Forecast by 2026 - WaterCloud News - May 25th, 2020
- Expected A Drastic Growth In Stem Cell Banking Market Key Insights Based On Source, Service Type, Application - 3rd Watch News - May 24th, 2020
- Covid 19 Pandemic: STEM CELL BANKING Market 2020 Statistics and Research Analysis Released in Latest Report - 3rd Watch News - May 24th, 2020
- Slump in Production of Stem Cell and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Alopecia Therapies Amidst Covid-19 Outbreak to Diminish Prospects of Sales - Bulletin... - May 24th, 2020
- Potential Impact of COVID-19 on Cell Separation Technologies Market to Show Outstanding Growth by 2025 Profiling Global Players Industry... - May 24th, 2020
- The impact of the coronavirus on the Stem Cell and Primary Cell Culture Medium Market 2020 -Global Industry Analysis By Trends, Size, Share, Company... - May 24th, 2020
- Bone Marrow Processing Systems Market Quantitative Market Analysis, Current and Future Trends the COVID-19 - Cole of Duty - May 24th, 2020
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Impact Stem Cell Banking Market : In-depth Analysis to Understand the Competitive Outlook of the Global Industry with... - May 24th, 2020
- How Coronavirus is Impacting In-Depth Cell Separation Market Analysis for 2020 and Beyond - 3rd Watch News - May 24th, 2020
- HKBU invents nanostructure that stimulates growth of stem cells for Parkinson's disease treatment - PRNewswire - May 22nd, 2020
- Global Stem Cells Group Announces the Launch of its New Division VITA NOVAS - PR Web - May 22nd, 2020
- Not All Cancer Research Money Is Going Away During COVID University of Chicago Receives $10-million Gift For Cell Therapy - SurvivorNet - May 22nd, 2020
- Scientists to study how lungs respond to worm infections - UC Riverside - May 22nd, 2020
- Global Stem Cell Therapy Market 2020: Growth, Demand, Service, Types, Applications, Key Players and Industry Forecast till 2025 - News Distinct - May 22nd, 2020
- Stem Cell Assay Market Growing Demand, Overview and Business Outlook to 2027 | Merck & Co., Thermo Fisher Scientific, GE Healthcare, Agilent... - May 22nd, 2020
- Global Stem Cells Market 2020 | Demand and Scope with Outlook, Business Strategies, Challenges and Forecasts to 2026 - Cole of Duty - May 22nd, 2020
- Plant Stem Cell For Cosmetics Market New Investments Expected To Boost The Demand By 2027 - News Distinct - May 22nd, 2020
- Californians for Stem Cell Research, Treatments & Cures - May 21st, 2020
- UAE Press: In the race to find a COVID-19 cure, leaders must not forget other diseases in need of research funds - WAM EN - May 21st, 2020
- Stem Cell Drugs Market Development, Trends, Key Driven Factors, Segmentation And Forecast to 2020-2026 - Cole of Duty - May 21st, 2020
- BOOMING NEWS: COVID-19 IMPACT ON Stem Cells Market 2020 Recent Industry Developments and Growth Strategies Adopted by Top Key Players Worldwide and... - May 21st, 2020
- Global Stem Cell Media Market Competitive Dynamics and Industry Outlook 2025 - 3rd Watch News - May 21st, 2020
- Platelet Rich Plasma and Stem Cell Alopecia Treatment Market Development, Trends, Key Driven Factors, Segmentation And Forecast to 2020-2026 - Cole of... - May 21st, 2020
- The Impact of the Coronavirus on the Nerve Repair and Regeneration Market Growth, Trends and Competitive Landscape | P&S Intelligence - Cole of Duty - May 21st, 2020
- The impact of the coronavirus on the Stem Cell and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Alopecia Therapies Size, Analysis, and Forecast Report 2019-2023 Cole... - May 21st, 2020
- Warning about stem cell treatments and COVID-19 - 10News - May 20th, 2020
- Research frozen by COVID-19 begins to thaw - The Age - May 20th, 2020
- Animal Stem Cell Therapy Market Development, Trends, Key Driven Factors, Segmentation And Forecast to 2020-2026 - Cole of Duty - May 20th, 2020
- Stem Cell Alopecia Treatment Market 2020 Global Overview, Growth, Size, Opportunities, Trends, Leading Company Analysis and Forecast to 2026 - Cole of... - May 20th, 2020
- New Stem Cell-Based Topical Solution Helps Bald People Regrow Hair - SciTechDaily - May 19th, 2020
- Unproven stem cell products are being peddled as COVID-19 'therapies,' U of M researcher reports - MinnPost - May 19th, 2020
- Clinical Trial Shows Topical Stem Cell Treatment Leads to Hair Regrowth in Common Type of Baldness - Technology Networks - May 19th, 2020
- Tyson, Ronaldo, and more sports stars who use stem cell treatment costing up to 15,000 to speed up healing - The Sun - May 19th, 2020
- Global Stem Cell Partnering Deals Collection (2010-2020): Access to Headline, Upfront, Milestone and Royalty Data - PRNewswire - May 19th, 2020
- COVID-19 Impact on Human Embryonic Stem Cell Market 2020 Regional Outlook, Latest Trend, Share Analysis, Growth, Application and Forecast to 2027 -... - May 19th, 2020
- Critical window for re-infection with HIV after stem cell transplantation - BioNews - May 19th, 2020
- COVID 19 PANDEMIC: Cancer Stem Cell Market Expert Guide to Boost the Industry in Market Share - Cole of Duty - May 19th, 2020
- Stem Cell And Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Alopecia Therapies Market Development, Trends, Key Driven Factors, Segmentation And Forecast to 2020-2026 -... - May 19th, 2020
- Stem Cell Concentration System Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020 - 20 - News by aeresearch - May 19th, 2020
- How Coronavirus is Impacting Cell Isolation Technology Market Growth Opportunity and Industry Revenue Analysis by Major Players, 2019-2026 3w Market... - May 19th, 2020
- 'No silver bullet': Investors cautioned as market surges on vaccine hopes - Sydney Morning Herald - May 19th, 2020
- Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Market Research, Growth Opportunities, Key Players, Outlook and Forecasts Report 2020-2028 - The Billings... - May 19th, 2020
- Stem Cell Cartilage Regeneration Market Brief Analysis and Application, Growth by 2026 - Cole of Duty - May 17th, 2020
- Stem Cell and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Alopecia Therapies Market Review Study,Indepth Analysis is Available in Recent Research Report During... - May 17th, 2020
- Stem Cell Banking Market Analysis Focusing on the Key Issues Surrounding the Growth of the Industry and Further Develop Opportunities - Bandera County... - May 17th, 2020
- Stem Cell Banking Market - Need for Improved Regenerative Medication and Anatomy - BioSpace - May 16th, 2020
- Millions of Mature Human Cells Blood, Eye and Liver Cells Grown In a Mouse Embryo - SciTechDaily - May 16th, 2020
- Analysis on Impact of COVID19-Global Mycoplasma Testing Market 2020-2024 | Evolving Opportunities with Agilent Technologies Inc. and ATCC | Technavio... - May 16th, 2020
- Stem Cell Alopecia Treatment Market Research Report 2020 By Size, Share, Trends, Analysis and Forecast to 2026 - Cole of Duty - May 16th, 2020
- Covid-19 Pandemic Cancer Stem Cell Therapy Market Overview and Competitive Landscape 2020 to 2025 - Cole of Duty - May 16th, 2020
- Global Stem Cell Therapy Market Size, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2020-2025 - Cole of Duty - May 16th, 2020
- FDA Approves Qinlock for Patients with Pretreated, Advanced GIST - Curetoday.com - May 16th, 2020
- Longevity and Anti-senescence Therapy Market Projected to Experience Major Revenue Boost During the Forecast Period Between 2020-2026 | Covid-19... - May 16th, 2020
- Stem Cell Assay Market Growth by Top Companies, Trends by Types and Application, Forecast to 2026 - Bandera County Courier - May 16th, 2020
- A Method for Assessing the Role of Long Non-protein Coding RNAs - Technology Networks - May 16th, 2020
- One year on, Capricor's stem cell therapy appears to help DMD patients in small study, but investors balk at the data - Endpoints News - May 14th, 2020
- QurAlis Hauls In $42M to Move New ALS Therapies Into Human Testing - Xconomy - May 14th, 2020
- Umbilical Cord Blood (UCB) Stem Cell Industry Growth Forecast Analysis Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application to 2026 - Express Journal - May 14th, 2020
- Animal Stem Cell Therapy Market Forecast 2020-2025, Latest Trends and Opportunities - ZZReport - May 14th, 2020
- Stem Cell Source Market Growth by Top Companies, Trends by Types and Application, Forecast to 2026 - Cole of Duty - May 14th, 2020
- Global Mesenchymal Stem Cells Market 2020 with (Covid-19) Impact Research by Top Manufacturers, Industry Growth, Regional Analysis and Forecast by... - May 14th, 2020
- Stem Cell Banking Storage Market Growth by Top Companies, Trends by Types and Application, Forecast to 2026 - Cole of Duty - May 14th, 2020
- Stem Cell And Platelet Rich Plasma Prp Alopecia Therapies Market Growth by Top Companies, Trends by Types and Application, Forecast to 2026 - Cole of... - May 14th, 2020
- Proactive and tech-driven approach helps UAE, South Korea's fight against COVID-19 - WAM EN - May 14th, 2020
- Umbilical Cord Blood (UCB) Stem Cell Market Growth by Top Companies, Trends by Types and Application, Forecast to 2026 - Cole of Duty - May 14th, 2020
- Global Stem Cell Banking Market Competitive Dynamics and Industry Outlook 2025 - 3rd Watch News - May 14th, 2020
- 3D Cell Culture Market Research Provides an In-Depth Analysis on the Future Growth Prospects and Industry Trends Adopted by the Competitors |... - May 14th, 2020
- Research Antibodies Market - Insights into how contours of market will change in coming years - BioSpace - May 12th, 2020
- Atara Biotherapeutics Announces Appointment of Cell & Gene Therapy Expert Maria Grazia Roncarolo, MD to Board of Directors - Business Wire - May 12th, 2020
- Were All Casualties of Trumps War on Coronavirus Science - The New York Times - May 12th, 2020
- CBG Called the 'Stem Cell' Of Cannabinoids and Could be More Profitable Than CBD - PRNewswire - May 12th, 2020
- Cell Expansion Market : Facts, Figures and Analytical Insights 2020-2026 - Cole of Duty - May 12th, 2020
- Rocket Pharmaceuticals Presents Positive Updates on FA and LAD-I Gene Therapy Programs at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene and... - May 12th, 2020
- Global Stem Cell Partnering Terms and Agreements 2010-2020 - stopthefud - May 12th, 2020
- Insights on the Worldwide Cell Expansion Industry to 2027 - Analysis and Forecasts - GlobeNewswire - May 5th, 2020
- Change the subject with these 7 UW deep dives - University of Wisconsin-Madison - May 5th, 2020
- Allogeneic Stem Cell Therapy Market 2020- Analysis And In-Depth Research On Market Size, Trends, Emerging Growth Factors And Forecast To 2026| -... - May 5th, 2020