Gidday receives $1M-plus NIH glaucoma research grant

Jeff Gidday, PhD, associate professor of neurosurgery, of ophthalmology and visual sciences, and of cell biology and physiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received a four-year, $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research titled “Endogenous Neuroprotection in Glaucoma.”

Glaucoma drug helps restore vision loss linked to obesity

Vision researchers from 38 clinical sites, including the School of Medicine, have found that the eyesight of patients with an unusual vision disorder linked to obesity improves twice as much if they take a glaucoma drug and lose a modest amount of weight than if they only lose weight. Neuro-ophthalmologist Gregory Van Stavern, MD, led the study in St. Louis.

‘Positive stress’ helps protect eye from glaucoma

Working in mice, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have devised a treatment that prevents the optic nerve injury that occurs in glaucoma, a neurodegenerative disease that is a leading cause of blindness. Researchers increased the resistance of optic nerve cells to damage by repeatedly exposing the mice to low levels of oxygen similar to those found at high altitudes.

More oxygen in eyes of African-Americans may help explain glaucoma risk

Measuring oxygen during eye surgery, investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered a potential reason that African-Americans are at higher risk of getting glaucoma than Caucasians. They found that oxygen levels are significantly higher in the eyes of African-Americans with glaucoma than in Caucasians.

There’s more to vision than meets the eye

Courtesy photoSome blind patients, as well as some blind animals, still show pupil constriction in response to light.We use our eyes to see, but a good deal of recent research has demonstrated that the eyes are responsible for other functions, too. Russell N. Van Gelder, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences and of molecular biology and pharmacology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has teamed with researchers at several other institutions to learn more about the eye’s second, non-visual system that is important to the body’s internal clock, as well as to other functions such as hormone release. Studying mice, the research team found that even in blind animals, it is important for the eye’s non-visual system to continue working. They believe damage to this system in the eye may contribute to several health problems in humans, even in people with normal vision.