Schnichels Lab

Neuroprotection & Drug Delivery

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Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) diseases – models and therapies

Death of RGCs is a key factor in several ocular diseases, including optic nerve injury, retinal ischemia and glaucoma, which can lead to vision loss and blindness. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. In 2013 the number of people (aged 40 – 80 years) with glaucoma was almost 65 million. For the year 2020, 80 million glaucoma patients including 11 million mutually blind people are expected.

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that generally causes an increased intra-ocular pressure (IOP). More importantly, optic nerve damage and retinal ganglion cell loss occurs, resulting in irreversible visual field defects, visual disability and finally blindness. All of the currently available treatments only slow down or stop the progression of RGC death as it occurs in glaucoma or retinal ischemia. Therefore, we are searching for novel therapies to provide a cure for these diseases.

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