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      Therapeutic Strategies for Normal-Tension Glaucoma


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          Treatment of normal-tension glaucoma has been a subject of debate for several years. Glaucomatous damage cannot be influenced directly, and current treatment modalities in normal-tension glaucoma are aimed at the control of risk factors. Intraocular pressure is a widely accepted risk factor and its reduction can improve the prognosis in normal-tension glaucoma patients. The repeated demonstration of the importance of hemodynamic factors in normal-tension glaucoma has, however, not been paralleled by a comparable progress in the development of therapeutic modalities capable of influencing favorably ocular blood flow. Today, calcium channel blockers seem to be the most promising adjunctive treatment to be considered in patients with glaucomatous optic neuropathy without increased intraocular pressure.

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          Most cited references51

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          The impact of ocular blood flow in glaucoma.

          Two principal theories for the pathogenesis of glaucomatous optic neuropathy (GON) have been described--a mechanical and a vascular theory. Both have been defended by various research groups over the past 150 years. According to the mechanical theory, increased intraocular pressure (IOP) causes stretching of the laminar beams and damage to retinal ganglion cell axons. The vascular theory of glaucoma considers GON as a consequence of insufficient blood supply due to either increased IOP or other risk factors reducing ocular blood flow (OBF). A number of conditions such as congenital glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma or secondary glaucomas clearly show that increased IOP is sufficient to lead to GON. However, a number of observations such as the existence of normal-tension glaucoma cannot be satisfactorily explained by a pressure theory alone. Indeed, the vast majority of published studies dealing with blood flow report a reduced ocular perfusion in glaucoma patients compared with normal subjects. The fact that the reduction of OBF often precedes the damage and blood flow can also be reduced in other parts of the body of glaucoma patients, indicate that the hemodynamic alterations may at least partially be primary. The major cause of this reduction is not atherosclerosis, but rather a vascular dysregulation, leading to both low perfusion pressure and insufficient autoregulation. This in turn may lead to unstable ocular perfusion and thereby to ischemia and reperfusion damage. This review discusses the potential role of OBF in glaucoma and how a disturbance of OBF could increase the optic nerve's sensitivity to IOP.
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            Risk factors for progression of visual field abnormalities in normal-tension glaucoma.

            To uncover risk factors for the highly variable individual rates of progression in cases of untreated normal-tension glaucoma. Visual field data were assembled from 160 subjects (160 eyes) enrolled in the collaborative normal-tension glaucoma study during intervals in which the eye under study was not receiving intraocular pressure-lowering treatment during prerandomization and postrandomization intervals. Analyses included multivariate analysis of time-dependent Cox proportional hazard, Kaplan-Meier analysis of "survival" without an increment of visual field worsening, and comparison of slopes of change in mean deviation global index over time. Most migraine occurred in women, but analysis demonstrated that gender and presence of migraine contribute separately to the overall risk. The risk ratio for migraine, adjusted for the other variables was 2.58 (P =.0058), for disk hemorrhage was 2.72 (P =.0036), and for female gender 1.85 (P =.0622). The average fall in the mean deviation index was faster in nonmigrainous women than in nonmigrainous men (P =.05). Suggesting genetic influence, Asians had a slower rate of progression (P =.005), and the few black patients enrolled had a tendency for faster progression. However, self-declared history of family with glaucoma or treated for glaucoma did not affect the rate of progression. Neither age nor the untreated level of intraocular pressure affected the rate of untreated disease progression, despite their known influence on prevalence. Whereas risk factors for prevalence help select populations within which to screen for glaucoma, the factors that affect the rate of progression help decide the expected prognosis of the individual's untreated disease and thereby the frequency of follow-up and aggressiveness of the therapy to be undertaken.
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              Comparison of glaucomatous progression between untreated patients with normal-tension glaucoma and patients with therapeutically reduced intraocular pressures


                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                November 2005
                16 November 2005
                : 219
                : 6
                : 317-323
                University Eye Clinic, Basel, Switzerland
                88372 Ophthalmologica 2005;219:317–323
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                : 28 April 2004
                Page count
                Figures: 1, References: 95, Pages: 7

                Vision sciences,Ophthalmology & Optometry,Pathology
                Intraocular pressure,Therapy,Blood flow,Normal-tension glaucoma


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