HELSINKI, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Lymphangiogenic growth factors may be used in the future for glaucoma treatment, suggested researchers from University of Helsinki and Wihuri Research Institute of Finland in a latest study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
In glaucoma, outflow of ocular aqueous humor into the Schlemm's canal is often obstructed, and the obstruction increases pressure within eyes.
Schlemm's canal has generally been considered a blood vessel. However, the Finnish researchers found the Schlemm's canal resembles more lymphatic than blood vessels, as it displays many features that are characteristic of a lymphatic vessel.
The study therefore indicated that lymphangiogenic growth factors may be applied to grow Schlemm's canal, which reduces intraocular pressure, and therefore help treat glaucoma.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide today. Treatment of glaucoma is based on lowering intraocular pressure, which slows the progressive loss of vision.
Current glaucoma therapy requires application of eye drops several times per day and the treatment efficacy is proved disappointing. When the new therapy is successfully developed, after a single growth factor injection, intraocular pressure will be reduced and the effect will last for several month.
According to Aleksanteri Aspelund, leader of the research team, the novel lymphangiogenic growth factor therapy is quite promising to treat glaucoma in the future, even though further studies are still needed.