A research group led by the Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University confirmed that the compound "KUS", which has a neuroprotective effect, has a function of suppressing the progression of glaucoma in model mice.Published in the British open access scientific journal "HELIYON".

 "Glaucoma" is the number one disease that causes visual impairment in Japan.It is a disease in which the retinal ganglion cells that transmit optical signals to the brain and the nerve fibers that send retinal information to the brain degenerate and drop out, causing damage to the visual field and eyesight. However, it is difficult to reduce the intraocular pressure sufficiently, and there are many cases in which visual acuity disorder progresses even if the intraocular pressure is reduced.

 It is known that glaucoma loses the energy held by the ganglion cells of the retina and dies and progresses.In the same group, we focused on the fact that the KUS agent developed in another study suppresses intracellular energy consumption, and examined the effect of suppressing the progression of glaucoma in model mice.
First, KUS was administered to a model mouse that reproduced "decrease in ganglion cells due to hyperexcitability of nerves" that causes glaucoma.As a result, the decrease of retinal ganglion cells was suppressed.

 Subsequently, verification was performed on GLAST gene knockout mice that develop glaucoma due to endogenous glutamate.As a result, it was found that the decrease of retinal ganglion cells and nerve fibers was also suppressed.

 Furthermore, in humans, an increase in intraocular pressure damages ganglion cells and causes glaucoma. It was confirmed that the expansion of the depression was suppressed.From the above results, it was clarified that the KUS agent has the effect of suppressing the progression of glaucoma.

 In the future, after undergoing clinical trials to confirm safety and efficacy, it aims to put it into practical use in about five years.It is expected to develop a therapeutic drug for glaucoma from a new viewpoint of "neuroprotection" and to apply it to eye diseases and neurodegenerative diseases caused by the death of retinal nerves.

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