Glaucoma is a multifactorial, polygenetic disease with a shared outcome of loss of retinal ganglion cells and their axons, which ultimately results in blindness. The most common risk factor of this disease is elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), although many glaucoma patients have IOPs within the normal physiological range. Throughout disease progression, glial cells in the optic nerve head respond to glaucomatous changes, resulting in glial scar formation as a reaction to injury. This chapter overviews glaucoma as it affects humans and the quest to generate animal models of glaucoma so that we can better understand the pathophysiology of this disease and develop targeted therapies to slow or reverse glaucomatous damage. This chapter then reviews treatment modalities of glaucoma. Revealed herein is the lack of non-IOP-related modalities in the treatment of glaucoma. This finding supports the use of animal models in understanding the development of glaucoma pathophysiology and treatments.
Part of the book: Preclinical Animal Modeling in Medicine