Cerebrospinal fluid pressure may hold key to glaucoma

051514Researchers have discovered that cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid surrounding the brain) plays an important role in maintaining proper eye function. This discovery could lead to possible treatments for glaucoma.

By raising the pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid in rats, researchers were able to counterbalance elevated intraocular pressure. This in turn, kept the optic nerve from bending backward, which is caused “cupping.” Scientists also noted that the rats with higher cerebrospinal fluid pressure were able to maintain their ability to respond to light better than the rats with the lower pressure.

Vision loss caused by glaucoma is due to elevated pressure within the eye. The optic nerve connects the eye with the brain, and glaucoma causes the optic nerve fibers to bow outward toward the optic nerve sheath, which holds cerebral spinal fluid.*

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