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Grantee in the News: Rajendra Apte on predicting glaucoma damage in JCI Insight

May 9

Grantee in the News: Rajendra Apte on predicting glaucoma damage in JCI Insight View MoreBACK

On May 4, 2017, JCI Insight published research co-author by 2005 AFAR Research Grant Program and 2012 Julie Martin Mid-Career Awards in Aging Research recipient, Rajendra S. Apte, MD, PhD on discovering a biomarker linked to damaged cells in the retina of the eye.

In GDF15 is elevated in mice following retinal ganglion cell death and in glaucoma patients, Dr. Apte and fellow researchers have identified GDF15, a biomarker of damage to cells in the eye that can measure the progression of glaucoma in a more reliable way. The researchers found that testing levels of GDF15 in patient’s eye fluid is a more reliable measurement of glaucoma severity because it correlates with stress to retinal cells.

The results of this study also show GDF15 has the ability to identify the rate at which patients with glaucoma will develop vision loss. Previously, there hadn’t been a way to predict which patients with glaucoma had a high risk of rapid vision loss. Dr. Apte explains: “Other glaucoma tests are measuring cell death, which is not reversible, but if we can identify when cells are under stress, then there's the potential to save those cells to preserve vision."

To read the full JCI Insight publication, please click here. The research was recognized in a related feature story on ScienceDaily that can be viewed here.

Rajendra S. Apte, MD, PhD is the Paul A. Cibis Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Science at the Washington University School of Medicine.

For more information on age-related vision loss, we encourage you to explore our expert-edited Infoaging Guide to Age-Related Macular Degeneration here.