It’s been thought for some time that the vast majority of glaucoma cases can be attributed to increased pressure within the eye, causing damage to the optic nerve. What caused the increase in pressure wasn’t known for sure, but a new report suggests that it could be caused by genetic mutation.
Researchers Peter Söderkvist and Mounira Hmani-Aifa at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Sweden, worked with researchers from Tunisia and America to identify the mutated gene responsible for the illness. According to their findings, the culprit is pathogenic gene PRSS56, a serine protease.
The study examined Tunisian families affected by both glaucoma and microphthalmia, an eye disroder meaning small eye, that scientists also believe to be the result of genetics. The researchers were able to identify the mutated gene in glaucoma patients in their studies, and collaborating American researchers were able to confirm the mutated gene’s presence in a glaucoma test involving mice.