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Repeated Stress Can Speed Up Aging in the Eye and Glaucoma

A new research study published in the journal Aging Cell, shows that stress including higher eye pressure from Glaucoma can cause changes in retinal cells similar to what is seen in natural aging.

 A University of California Irvine study showed that the repeated high eye pressure stress causes premature aging in young retinal tissue. Some of the changes that occurred affected the epigenetics of the cell. Epigenetic changes impact what genes turn on and off. As we age, epigenetic changes can affect how different genes work and thus how a cell or organ work.

Scientists now have a new tool to measuring stress in the eye: measuring epigenetic changes. It’s also possible that if these epigenetic changes are halted or reversed, it could be a potential treatment for glaucoma. While more research will need to be done, this research gives us a better understanding of the causes of glaucoma.

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