Article

Optic Nerve Disease and Axon Pathophysiology

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
International Review of Neurobiology (Impact Factor: 2.46). 01/2012; 105:1-17. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-398309-1.00002-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Optic neuropathy is the most common cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Although the most common optic neuropathy is glaucoma, there are also many other optic neuropathies, for example, those associated with multiple sclerosis, giant cell arteritis, ischemia, and many other diseases. In almost all cases, the pathogenesis involves injury to the retinal ganglion cell axon, with consequent somal and axonal degeneration. This chapter reviews the clinical and pathophysiological properties associated with three of the most common optic neuropathies, as well as recent findings in understanding axonal degeneration. It concludes with a status report on therapies for optic nerve disease, including axoprotection, an approach being studied that has the goal of maintaining axonal integrity and function after injury.

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