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    Novel modalities expand glaucoma therapeutic arsenal

    IOP-lowering therapies will continue to be component of disease management

    Take-home message: Active research in neuroprotection, neuroregeneration, and sustained drug delivery is expected to lead to better options for management of glaucoma.

     

    Though neuroprotective and neuroregenerative treatments will be part of glaucoma management in the future, IOP-lowering therapies will continue to have an important role, according to two glaucoma specialists.

    Neuroprotection for glaucoma is coming, and it is matter of when it will happen, not if,” said Harry A. Quigley, MD, director, Glaucoma Center for Excellence, and A. Edward Maumenee Professor of Ophthalmology, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.

    Noting that IOP lowering itself can be neuroprotective, Dr. Quigley predicted that products based on sustained delivery of currently available IOP-lowering medications will likely become available sooner than any neuroprotective medications with novel mechanisms of action.

    He also anticipated the eventual availability of neuoregenerative approaches for glaucoma management, noting that ideally, however, glaucomatous damage will be prevented rather than need fixing.

    Neuroprotective strategies

    Dr. Quigley pointed out that there are a variety of factors limiting neuroprotective benefit with use of topical IOP-lowering medications. Of those, inadequate patient adherence and treatment-related side effects are two issues that could be overcome with sustained drug delivery, which would eliminate the need for drop administration and expose the eye to a safer, lower concentration of medication.

    NEXT: Neuroprotective agents in the not-too-distant future

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