Hypothesis of optineurin as a new common risk factor in normal-tension glaucoma and Alzheimer's disease

Med Hypotheses. 2011 Oct;77(4):591-2. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2011.06.040. Epub 2011 Jul 18.


Growing evidences suggest a link between normal tension glaucoma (NTG) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Both of them are progressive neurodegenerative disorders. Recently researches provide a clue that optineurin may be a new common underlying risk factor involved in NTG and AD. OPTINEURIN (OPTN) gene coding for "optineurin" protein is identified as the causative gene in NTG. Interestingly, optineurin was also found in neurofibrillary tangles and dystrophic neurites in AD, as well as other neurodegenerative diseases. This suggested a new hypothesis for neurodegeneration in AD involving chronic optineurin neurotoxicity, mimicking NTG at the molecular level. A theoretical relationship between optineurin, NTG and AD seems to exist. Indicating that optineurin may play a role in both NTG and AD will shed new light on the link between these two diseases and lead to a better understanding of the common mechanisms underlying NTG and AD.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Humans
  • Low Tension Glaucoma / physiopathology*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Risk Factors
  • Transcription Factor TFIIIA / physiology*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • OPTN protein, human
  • Transcription Factor TFIIIA