Glaucoma is a condition where the fluid present in the eyeball exerts too much of pressure onto the cells of retina causing the retinal ganglion cells to die. If left undetected/untreated, it causes blindness.
It is the second cause of blindness in the world. In addition to this, there are 2 reasons why one has to take this with utmost seriousness:
- It is known as 'sneak thief of sight' because people lose sight slowly and almost unknowingly. Often, it becomes recognizable only at the advanced stages.
- The damages to the optic nerve fibres are irreversibile.
This was the case until now...
If what a group of researchers from University of Rome are claiming is right, it will be possible to help revive the damaged retinal cells of the patients suffering from this painful disease. That too without having to undergo more painful therapeutic procedures or surgery but with just a few drops of an NGF - Nerve Growth Factor.
They have discovered that administration of NGF in the form of drops directly in the eye produces a considerable reduction in the damage caused to the retinal ganglion cells by increased intr ocular pressure. After success with rats, the same experiment was tried with humans. Amidst concerns about the soundness of the experiment and its interpretations, the neuroscientists have claimed that this works with humans as well.
While scientists debate on the authenticity of the results and the need to indulge in verifying the claims, one can only hope that this simple solution to this dangerous disease guides research leading to achieving the ultimate reversibility - bringing back light into the life of many of its victims!