Loss of vision in glaucoma occurs because retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) die. RGCs have probably more mitochondria than any other neurone in the CNS. It is proposed that stress to mitochondria of individual RGCs is a major trigger of the disease and also provides an explanation why different RGCs die at different times. Pharmacological agents that can maintain mitochondrial functions, in particular to attenuate oxidative stress and to sustain energy production, might therefore provide a novel way of slowing down RGC death and help in the treatment of glaucoma.
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