Monday October 22, 2018

Eat green vegetables to cut down on glaucoma risk

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New York: Greater intake of dietary nitrate and green leafy vegetables is associated with a 20-30 percent lower risk of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), according to a study.

Jae H. Kang of Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues evaluated the association between dietary nitrate intake, derived mainly from green leafy vegetables and POAG.

They looked at a follow-up study involving 63,893 women and 41,094 men over a period of more than 35 years.

During the follow-up, 1,483 incident cases of POAG were identified.

The researchers found that greater intake of dietary nitrate and green leafy vegetables was associated with a 20 percent to 30 percent lower POAG risk.

The association was particularly strong (40 percent-50 percent lower risk) for POAG with early paracentral visual field loss (a subtype of POAG linked to dysfunction in blood flow autoregulation).

POAG is caused by optic nerve damage that is chronic and progresses over time.

The findings were published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology. (IANS)

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Study Suggests Glaucoma May be an Autoimmune Disease

In human patients with glaucoma, the researchers found that they had five times the normal level of T cells specific to heat shock proteins

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representational image. Pixabay

Glaucoma, an eye disease which affects nearly 70 million people worldwide, may be an autoimmune disease, suggests a new research.

In a study of mice, the researchers showed that the body’s own T cells are responsible for the progressive retinal degeneration seen in glaucoma.

Furthermore, these T cells appear to be primed to attack retinal neurons as the result of previous interactions with bacteria that normally live in our body, said the study published in the journal Nature Communications.

The discovery suggests that it was possible to develop new treatments for glaucoma by blocking this autoimmune activity.

“This opens a new approach to prevent and treat glaucoma,” said study co-author Jianzhu Chen, Professor of Biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Glaucoma is a group of related eye disorders that cause damage to the optic nerve that carries information from the eye to the brain.

One of the biggest risk factors for glaucoma is elevated pressure in the eye, which often occurs as people age, and the ducts that allow fluid to drain from the eye become blocked.

Glaucoma
Glaucoma may be an autoimmune disease: Study. Pixabay

The disease often goes undetected at first and patients may not realise they have the disease until half of their retinal ganglion cells have been lost.

Most treatments focus on lowering pressure in the eye (also known as intraocular pressure).

However, in many patients, the disease worsens even after intraocular pressure returns to normal.

In studies in mice, the researchers found the same effect.

Also Read: Over Exercising Can Result in Poor Mental Health, Reveals a Lancet Study

“That led us to the thought that this pressure change must be triggering something progressive, and the first thing that came to mind is that it has to be an immune response,” study co-author Dong Feng Chen, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, said.

Further studies revealed that the glaucoma-linked T cells target proteins called heat shock proteins, which help cells respond to stress or injury.

In human patients with glaucoma, the researchers found that they had five times the normal level of T cells specific to heat shock proteins. (IANS)

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