Glaucoma is an incurable neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) and the secondary loss of associated neurons of the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). It is the leading cause of blindness for which no satisfactory medical treatment exists. In this proposal, we test the ability of GLYX-13, a drug that has been shown to protect neurons in other neurodegenerative diseases, to be a promising candidate for neuroprotection in the visual areas of the brain. The first aim of this project will assess the efficacy of GLYX-13 in preventing neuron loss by measuring cell density and volume of the visual areas in the mouse brain following RGC injury by optic nerve crush. For those blind from end-stage glaucoma, there is no current treatment or technology to restore vision. A long term goal of our group is to develop a thalamic visual prosthesis to address this issue. To design a feasible electrode, it is essential to understand the physiological changes in the visual areas of the brain in blind subjects, thus, the second aim of this project will be to measure the shape, cell density, and inflammation in the degenerated LGN following an optic nerve crush. In summary, the results from this study will support the clinical use of GLYX-13 as a potential neuroprotectant for patients with glaucoma and data measured from degenerated LGN will advance the development of a thalamic visual prosthesis.
|Effective start/end date||7/1/14 → 7/31/15|
- Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness (AMGT-7/11/14)