Age is an established major risk factor for glaucoma that can be used along with other data to compute chances of developing glaucoma. This leading cause of blindness is becoming increasingly more prevalent in the aging population. The characteristic progressive degeneration of the optic nerve in glaucoma is primarily caused by increased intraocular pressure yet the cause for the reduced outflow is not well understood. Early diagnosis of glaucoma remains difficult. Classic treatment can delay progression of glaucomatous optic neuropathy by lowering intraocular pressure medically or surgically. Recent insights into the age-related molecular changes of the outflow tract and retinal ganglion cells have encouraged search for new treatment approaches. New findings suggest that age related tissue changes themselves contribute significantly and are not just associated. Interdisciplinary research will be necessary to advance understanding, diagnosis and treatment of this neurodegenerative disease that has been known for more than thousand years but to this date remains a challenge.
Keywords: Glaucoma, optic nerve degeneration, outflow, blindness, Aging, oxidation, Beta-Amyloid, Alzheimers's Disease, Senescence, Trabecular Meshmwork
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