Glaucoma’s causes are not completely understood, but it is clear that bio-energetic, bio-mechanical and bio-chemical stresses combine to damage the optic nerve and its axons. The optic nerve carries image information from the retina to the brain, which is how we see. Glaucoma is primarily a slow acting disease, but damage is irreversible, so proper diagnosis and intervention is critical. Diagnosis of patients includes a variety of measurements, including intraocular pressure and visual field changes.
Some patients’ glaucoma damage is more accelerated, and these patients are known as “fast progressors.” Other patients have optic nerve damage, but their intra-ocular pressure is in the normal range. These are “normal pressure glaucoma” patients. Stuart Therapeutics’ research has shown that glaucoma-related stresses result in damage to important collagen structures that support the optic nerve, such as the lamina cribrosa that surrounds the optic nerve as it enters the back of the eye, and the retrolaminar region behind the eye. This damage results in the similar changes in cell signaling and inflammation modulating sites, similar to those observed in other tissues.
For glaucoma, a PolyCol variant administered via drop formulation penetrates through the inner limiting membrane, and acts to heal damage caused by glaucoma to the collagen extra-cellular matrix supporting the optic nerve as it enters the body of the eye. This repair acts to protect the nerve cells, and encourages nerve cell recovery.