Superoxide Dismutase (2016, 2017) & Glaucoma


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Reseachers compared levels of antioxidants including the enzyme superoxide dismutase in patients with cataracts and glaucoma to patients with cataracts only.

They found that activity of this enzyme was significantly lowered in the patients who had both cataracts and glaucoma.

Researchers: W. Rokicki, J. Zalejska-Fiolka, et al,
Published: Differences in serum oxidative status between glaucomatous and nonglaucomatous cataract patients, BMC Ophthalmology, February, 2017.


Patients with open angle glaucoma have lower blood serum levels of antioxidants. Researchers decided to evaluate one of these important antioxidants, superoxide dismutase, in terms of its genetic expression. Genetic expression means how information contained in the gene is used by the body to produce a correctly functioning result - in this case, produce a given level of superoxide dismutase in the blood serum.

Super dismutase is an enzyme that divides the superoxide free radical into either oxygen or hydrogen peroxide. The body, of course, need oxygen. Hydrogen peroxide damages cells. So superoxide dismutase is important in the antioxidant defense system of the body.

In this experiment the researchers The purpose of the evaluation was to determine whether superoxide dismutase would function effectively as a biomarker for glaucoma.

They analyzed genetic expression of genes from patients who had been diagnosed with glaucoma and a control group: 15 patients and 11 controls. They found that superoxide dismutase expression was markedly less in the glaucoma patients compared to the controls, and that correspondingly, superoxide dismutase levels in blood serum were also much lower.

Researchers: L. Canizales, L. Rodriguez, et al,
Published: Low-level expression of SOD1 in peripheral blood samples of patients diagnosed with primary open-angle glaucoma, Biomarkers in Medicine, December, 2016.

Another study measured indicators of oxidative stress in glaucoma patients compared to cataract patients. The study carefully selected 30patients who had surgery for glaucoma due to primary open angle glaucoma even though they had been managing intraocular pressure.

The control group was comprised of 25 patients who had cataract surgery.

The study evaluated levels of several antioxidants including superoxide dismutase and found that the levels in the two groups were similar, but that levels of the damaging malondialdehyde (MDA) were higher in the glaucoma group. This suggests that the antioxidants were insufficiently expressed in these patients.

Researchers: W. Rokicki, J. Fiolka-Zalesjska, et al,
Published: Oxidative stress in the red blood cells of patients with primary open-angle glaucoma, Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation, January, 2016.