Higher pressure, better vision
Monday, May 26 2014 | 00 h 00 min | News
Elevating brain fluid pressure could help prevent vision loss related to conditions such as glaucoma.
Scientists have found that pressure from the fluid surrounding the brain plays a role in maintaining proper eye function. Their findings were recently presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), in Florida.
In patients with an illness like glaucoma, in which vision loss is associated with elevated intraocular pressure, the optic nerve bends backward towards the brain and away from the eye. After conducting an experiment on rats, the researchers found that an increase in pressure of the fluid surrounding the brain counterbalanced the elevated intraocular pressure. This prevented the optic nerve from bending backward.
Rats with higher fluid pressure from the brain maintained their ability to respond to light better than rats with lower pressure. These findings might explain why some people with normal eye pressure develop glaucoma, and why people with intraocular pressure never develop the condition.