May 12, 2017
Researchers used mice for the study and found that use of B3 with water helped keep their eyes healthier for longer, reducing their risk of developing the condition.
Experts say the findings could help develop an inexpensive and safe treatment option for older people, instead of relying on eye drops .
Researchers at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine added the vitamin to the water of mice who were genetically predisposed to glaucoma.
Results revealed it kept their eyes healthier for longer and provided remarkable protection against glaucoma compared to those given plain water.
Study author Dr Pete Williams said: 'Because these (eye) cells are still healthy, and still metabolically robust, even when high pressure turns on, they better resist the damaging processes.'
The researchers also found that a single gene therapy application of the enzyme responsible for giving brain cells energy prevented glaucoma in the mice.
Dr Williams added: 'It can be a problem for patients, especially the elderly, to take their drugs every day and in the correct dose.'So gene therapy could be a one-shot, protective treatment.'
Across the world, glaucoma affects around 80 million people, with many currently relying on eye drops.
It usually occurs due to a build-up of pressure in the eye, which damages the optic nerve.
Those with a family history of the condition and people with other medical conditions such as diabetes, are at an increased risk.
Treatment includes eye drops, which can cause irritation and aren't suitable for all patients.
In more severe cases, patients may undergo laser therapy, which can be painful, or surgery, which requires an anaesthetic.
Image source : Getty
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