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AAO-SOE Joint Meeting Nov. 9 glaucoma research highlights
Date:11/8/2008

ATLANTA Glaucoma-related highlights of today's scientific program of the 2008 Joint Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (Academy) and European Society of Ophthalmology (SOE) include a study that correlates optic nerve damage in glaucoma patients with carotid artery narrowing and potentially elevated risk for stroke, and a survey that looks at how the practice of fasting, common to the world's seven major religions, may affect patient compliance with treatment for glaucoma and other eye diseases.

Damage to Optic Nerve in Glaucoma Patients May Indicate Significant Carotid Artery Narrowing

Glaucoma is often associated with elevated pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure, or IOP) which can damage the optic nerve, leading to vision loss and even blindness. Medication and/or surgery allow patients to control their IOP, thus preventing the development of vision loss. Mostafa Elgohary, MD, of Essex County and Broomfield Hospitals in the UK and his colleagues were concerned when several patients who had been under their care for several years continued to lose their vision in one or both eyes even though their IOP had been kept within normal limits either through medicine or surgery.

The authors reviewed 16 retrospective case reports to determine if there was a possible association of internal carotid artery narrowing, or stenosis, with the development of glaucoma or glaucoma-like damage to the optic nerve. The internal carotid arteries are the main arteries in the neck that carry the blood to the brain and the eye. On further investigation, the authors found that six of those patients had significant carotid artery narrowing (greater than 60 percent of the artery lumen) and some even had total blockage of the artery on the same side as the eye with the glaucoma, or on both sides. One patient showed improvement in the visual field after undergoing surgery to remove the blockage. The authors then extended their inv
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Contact: Mary Wade
mwade@aao.org
415-531-3061
American Academy of Ophthalmology
Source:Eurekalert

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