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Research funded by the Glaucoma Research Foundation produced 21 abstracts at the 2008 Annual ARVO (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology) annual meeting held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
The Catalyst for a Cure (CFC) collaborative research effort is contributing markedly to our understanding of glaucoma disease pathways. Twelve abstracts (summaries of key scientific research findings) were presented by CFC Principal Investigators and their laboratories. CFC investigators reported promising results from an interventional study in which they found that a common dietary supplement, alpha-lipoic acid, reduced retinal ganglion cell loss in a model of glaucoma. This finding has significant implications for the role of antioxidants in promoting cell survival in the retina, thus preserving vision.
In another presentation, CFC researchers showed how blocking a calcium receptor in the retinal ganglion cells inhibits the neurons’ susceptibility to pressure induced damage. This finding opens another possible therapeutic avenue for a glaucoma cure.
Nine abstracts resulted from GRF’s Pilot Project research funding. Now known as the Shaffer Grants, Pilot Projects invest funding in creative research initiatives that hold promise. All five of the 2007 awardees presented work at this year’s conference. Awardees from 2006 and 2005 funding years also presented results, showing the long research time line necessary for innovative work. Thirty-five co-authors were involved with the Pilot Project work, indicating that this grant program is achieving another objective of attracting researchers from other fields into glaucoma work.
Article by Allen B. Poirson, PhD.
Last reviewed on March 07, 2011
This article appeared in the September 2008 issue of Gleams.Subscribe