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Targeting Alzheimer's Protein May Treat Glaucoma

Targeting amyloid-beta reduces death of retinal cells in rat model of glaucoma

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Targeting the formation, deposition and aggregation of the amyloid-beta protein found in Alzheimer disease is effective in reducing the death of retinal cells in a rat model of glaucoma, according to study findings published online Aug. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

M. Francesca Cordeiro, Ph.D., from University College London in the United Kingdom, and colleagues used a rat model of glaucoma in which intraocular pressure in one eye is increased surgically to investigate the effects of amyloid-beta inhibition. Amyloid-beta has been implicated in the destruction of retinal ganglion cells, they note.

The researchers found that treatments to reduce amyloid-beta formation, clear amyloid-beta deposition, or inhibit amyloid-beta aggregation and neurotoxic effects were all effective at reducing the death of retinal ganglion cells. Combining all three treatments was more effective than any single treatment, they note.

"Our work suggests that targeting the amyloid-beta pathway provides a therapeutic avenue in glaucoma management," Cordeiro and colleagues conclude. "Furthermore, our work demonstrates that the combination of agents affecting multiple stages in the amyloid-beta pathway may be the most effective strategy in amyloid-beta-related diseases."

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