Optic Gliomas Respond to Growth Factor Eye Drops
Optic gliomas are rare tumors of the brain targeting one or both optic nerves or location where the two optic nerves cross each other, the optic chiasm. This condition is not known to get better naturally, although nerve growth factor eye drops could help in milder causes. So far, the results are limited and more research is needed.
Nerve growth factor is is a neuropeptide (a small protein-like molecule essential for nerve cell communication) which has the capacity to maintain and regulate the growth and integrity of nerve cells, or neurons. Administered in the form of eyedrops it has been used in the treatment of macular degeneration, glaucoma, and various optic nerve conditions.
The study was published in Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, involved a single 45 year old female with an optic gliomas and who also had optic nerve atrophy for some time. She was given the nerve growth eyedrop for 2 months and there was some improvement. Two months after the treatment stopped her vision seemed to get worse.
The study conclusion was that this type of eye drop might yield promising results in the future. There were no noted side effects as a result of the treatment.
Source: Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, February 22, 2011
Optic Nerve Helped by Growth Factor Eye Drops
Findings of another study using nerve growth factor are promising for treating optic nerve caused blindness and for spurring regeneration in the spinal cord and brain. The researchers reported that they’d found a previously unknown, naturally occurring, growth factor that stimulates regeneration in damaged optic nerves.
The growth factor is called a calcium binding protein called oncomodulin. When researchers studied its effects on in-vitro nerve cells from the retina, and while other already-known growth factors were included, optic nerve cells grew by two times. Oncomodulin was more potent than the other growth factors.
More Nerve Regeneration
Animal research was also performed and it was found that sustained-released oncomodulin (supplied from tiny capsules) increased nerve regrowth by 5-7 times. A drug that helps nerve cells respond to oncomodulin was also given to the lab rats. The process apparently involves activating genes connected to nerve cell growth.
“Out of the blue, we found a molecule that causes more nerve regeneration than anything else ever studied,” said one of the study investigators. We expect this to spur further research into what else oncomodulin is doing in the nervous system and elsewhere.
The data are published in the May 14, 2011 online edition of Nature Neuroscience.
Learn more about nutrients that naturally support optic nerve health.