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International Glaucoma

July 29, 2009

Traveling to Singapore, Netherlands, Or Prague.  Next year in Beijing?  For me, not this year:

Nice and simple to take the MBTA Green D Train 4 stops to the Hynes in Boston to rendez-vous with every major glaucoma contributor in the contemporary literature…

A thumbnail of news from the meeting – a fair amount devoted to world issues of health access in Africa and Asia.  Increased recognition of populations with higher risk for the disease?  Caribbean and west African blacks, Japanese with normal tension glaucomas, and aboriginal communities with angle closure disease.

What about medical breakthroughs?  This year’s research award to a North Texas cell biologist who characterized the WH-1 gene in mouse, showing “up regulation” and “down regulation” of intraocular pressure by chemical messaging of proteins to (mouse) trabecular meshwork.  This is important because chemical messengers may be critical for a permanent cure, or for definitive diagnoses.

What is trabecular meshwork?  This important tissue regulates eye pressure by controlling egress of the nutrient aqueous fluid that circulates through and inflates the eye.  Too little exiting?  High pressure.  Is there a over -secretion glaucoma, patients ask?  These are rare and sporadic.  The principal cause of the disease is failure of fluid leaving the eye.  All glaucoma treatments are directed at resolving this defect.

                                                                                 Dr. Kevin Kaufman