University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine

More Than Meets the Eye

Glaucoma affects major vision centres in the brain, as well as eyes

Researchers with the department of ophthalmology at the University of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital have discovered that glaucoma – a leading cause of blindness – affects not only the eyes, but also the major vision centres in the brain. “Our study shows that in glaucoma there is a loss of the specific nerve cells in the brain that control our ability to see colour and motion,” says Dr. Yeni Yücel, lead author of the international study. This discovery offers hope of treatments that protect nerve cells in the brain; new therapies to prevent blindness from glaucoma might be similar to those aimed at Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, says co-author Dr. Neeru Gupta.

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