Aula Ramo

Can drugs for Alzheimer's disease be of benefit in glaucoma?

Glaucoma, a neurodegenerative disease, is a leading cause of blindness. It is associated with increased intraocular pressure that may lead to death of retinal ganglion cells. Activation of acetylcholine (ACh) receptors has been shown to have neuroprotective effects against this neurodegeneration. This study examines whether a potential Alzheimer’s drug (DMP 543) can increase ACh release in the retina, as in the brain, to activate these protective receptors. Retinal ACh was labeled with tritium and release measured with a liquid scintillation counter. Potassium served as a positive chemical control (via direct depolarization), flashing light as a physiological control & tropisetron (a selective ACh compound) as a pharmacological control. Preliminary results show a dose-dependent increase in ACh release with DMP 543.  Future experiments will try to determine the full dose-response characteristics, site of action in retinal circuitry, and possible effects on physiological responses.

Faculty Mentor: David Linn, Biomedical Science

Page last modified August 2, 2013