Glaucoma is a progressive neurodegenerative disease of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) associated with characteristic axon degeneration in the optic nerve. Clinically, our only method of slowing glaucomatous loss of vision is to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP), but lowering IOP is only partially effective and does not address the underlying susceptibility of RGCs to degeneration. We review the recent steps forward in our understanding of the pathophysiology of glaucoma and discuss how this understanding has given us a next generation of therapeutic targets by which to maintain RGC survival, protect or rebuild RGC connections in the retina and brain, and enhance RGC function.
Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.