Researchers develop eye drops containing nerve growth factor to treat advanced glaucoma.

According to a study published Aug. 4 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, “a new type of eye drop may point the way to treatment for glaucoma.” For the study, scientists from Italy’s University of Rome treated “rats with the eye drops containing a protein known as nerve growth factor.” In tests, nerve growth factor, a compound that “assists portions of the central nervous system that have been damaged by disease or injury,” appeared to prevent “nerve degeneration in rats with glaucoma, leading the researchers to launch the human tests.” After three months of treatment with the drops, three elderly human patients with advanced glaucoma “showed improvements in visual sharpness and ability to detect contrast.” In fact, “two of the three showed improved visual fields, while the visual field stabilized for the third.” Moreover, the authors said the “improvements remain even three months after the treatments were finished.”


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