gms | German Medical Science

102. Jahrestagung der DOG

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e. V.

23. bis 26.09.2004, Berlin

Update Neuroprotection

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author S. Thanos - Experimentelle Ophthalmologie, Klinik und Poliklinik für Augenheilkunde, Münster

Evidenzbasierte Medizin - Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. 102. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft. Berlin, 23.-26.09.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04dogFR.05.02

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2004

© 2004 Thanos.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




The term "neuroprotection" is increasingly considered relevant in the therapy of glaucoma, because it comprises attempts to protect neuronal cells. It is very relevant in view of estimated more than 65 million people worldwide affected by glaucoma.


In this review neuroprotetive approaches will be summarized which may be of importance for the many patients who do not respond to treatments currently available. In addition, some animal models will be presented in which neuroprotective drugs have been successfully tested.


At present, several pharmacological treatments of retinal ganglion cells have been proposed. They include prevention of glutamate-induced excitotoxicity using NMDA-receptor antagonists such as memantine, blockage of apoptotic pathways using caspase- or semaphorin-inhibitors and administration of neurotrophic factors like CNTF, BDNF, GDNF and T-588. Clinically used antiglaucomatous drugs are also thought to possess neuroprotective effects. In spite of promising results in animal models like the DBA/2J-mouse and various rat-and monkey-models, principal problems have to be solved before neuroprotection can be realistically considered as a therapy for glaucoma.


Pharmacological neuroprotection is developing rapidly and promises to become a future direct approach to cure glaucomatous injuries.