Have you been told that your eye pressure is high or that you may suffer from glaucoma? Have you been tested for glaucoma? Glaucoma is the most common cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Yet, as it doesn’t usually give any symptoms, about half of all patients with glaucoma in the UK are not even aware they have it. In this article, Mr Gerassimos Lascaratos, answers your frequently asked questions on Glaucoma.
Mr Lascaratos is delighted to be using the new InnFocusMicroshunt at King’s College Hospital. This new minimally invasive glaucoma surgery device appears to achieve a significant eye pressure lowering effect,while maintaining an improved safety profile compared to traditional approaches. The Microshunt is similar to a trabeculectomy in that it creates a subconjunctival bleb, but the procedure is considerably less invasive and requires much less postoperative interventions and clinic visits. It has a flow restrictor 70um lumen and is made from SIBS,a highly biocompatible,biostable material that has been shown to result in reduced inflammation and minimal scar tissue formation.
Happy to be invited to speak about the role of mitochondrial biogenesis in glaucoma at the International Society for Eye Research (ISER) conference in Belfast and honoured to be part of such an esteemed faculty. Congratulations to Prof Colm O’Brien and Mr Patrick Yu-Wai-Man for organising an excellent session.
It was a great pleasure and honour to be invited to speak at the Moorfields Alumni meeting at the Royal Society of Medicine on ‘Mitochondrial efficiency: the Holy Grail of glaucoma resistance?’ The study presented was kindly funded by Fight for Sight, Allergan Europe and the International Glaucoma Association.
Excited to see our paper published in the Neurobiology of Disease. We show for the first time that some patients with high eye pressure who haven’t developed glaucoma have very healthy mitochondria in their blood. Mitochondria are the batteries of cells – they produce the energy the cells need to survive. This study suggests that systemic mitochondrial efficiency is associated with resistance to developing glaucoma and raises the possibility that new treatments that make energy production more efficient may protect against glaucoma.
Representative electron microscopy images of lymphocytes from the study participants (glaucoma left, ocular hypertension right). The mitochondria are highlighted with black arrows and are more elongated and healthier in individuals with ocular hypertension as compared to patients with glaucoma.
New landmark trial in glaucoma co-authored by Mr Lascaratos is published in The Lancet. The United Kingdom Glaucoma Treatment Study (UKGTS) is the first randomised, triple-masked, placebo-controlled trial to assess the benefit of topical medical treatment (eye drops) for reduction of loss of vision in patients with open angle glaucoma. Our findings provide strong evidence for the vision-preserving benefit of lowering of intraocular pressure, supporting evidence from previous randomised trials that were not masked or placebo controlled. The study also provides evidence of the vision preserving benefits of topical prostaglandin analogues. Congratulations to Prof David Garway-Heath for leading this landmark study in glaucoma the results of which are likely to influence clinical decision making in this field for many years to come.
‘I Know Glaucoma’: We have now published online a new course created by the members of the European Glaucoma Panel with the contribution of Mr Lascaratos. This is designed for patients with a diagnosis of glaucoma or for their friends and family. It aims to provide an understanding of everything you need to know to live with a diagnosis of glaucoma through a combination of videos and tests designed by health care professionals working in the field of Ophthalmology. You can do the course in your own time and can dip in and out of the course to cover those bits which are of particular interest to you.