Natural Occurring Growth Factor May Regenerate Retinal Nerve Fiber
Researchers, building on earlier Glaucoma Foundation research, found that oncomodulin, a naturally occurring growth factor, stimulates the regeneration of injured retinal nerve fibers. The optic nerve doesn't normally regenerate after injury. However, through unknown mechanisms, macrophage activation in the eye stimulates retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) to regenerate long axons beyond the site of the injury.
Oncomodulin appears to stimulate this regeneration process, offering future hope for reversing optic-nerve damage due to glaucoma, tumors, or traumatic eye injury.
Research: 2008: Boston's Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School