How does the brain of patients with the ophthalmic disease glaucoma change over time? In a paper published in “Frontiers in Human Neuroscience”, Shereif Haykal and co-authors show that over a period of several years, the visual pathways of glaucoma patients continued to lose nerve fibers and also did so faster than in age-matched controls. There was also evidence that the degeneration started in the part of the visual pathways closer to the eye and than transfers to the visual pathway closer to the brain. They also found evidence for a time window during which the latter parts of the visual pathways may still be preserved, which could be important for future therapies. Want to know more? Find the paper here.
Red and yellow colored sections in the images below indicate parts of the visual pathways that were different in glaucoma patients compared to age-matched controls. On the measurements taken at time point 2, which was several years after the first measurements (time point 1), these differences had increased substantially.