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Subspecialties Glaucoma

Cranial Control

It has long been suggested that intracranial pressure (ICP) could play a role in glaucoma development because of its influence on optic nerve head biomechanics. Now, researchers at the University of South Florida (USF) have, for the first time, shown a physiological connection between the brain and the eye via a novel feedback mechanism that modulates eye pressure – at least in rodents.

By altering aqueous humor dynamics in rats, Chris Passaglia, a professor in the USF Department of Medical Engineering, and his team found that the eye’s fluid drainage properties adapted to ensure a healthy pressure difference across the optic nerve. The discovery of the system, according to Passaglia, “offers a new target for glaucoma treatment, wherein the modulatory mechanisms of the system might be exploited to help lower eye pressure and impede disease progression,” (1). The team now hopes to pinpoint the location of the brain cells sending signals to the eye to determine which nerve fibers are being mediated by the brain.

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  1. University of South Florida Newsroom (2020). Available at:
About the Author
Lauren Robertson

Deputy Editor at The Ophthalmologist.

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