Back to Journals » Eye and Brain » Volume 13

Glaucoma as Neurodegeneration in the Brain

Authors Chan JW, Chan NCY, Sadun AA

Received 24 November 2020

Accepted for publication 7 January 2021

Published 18 January 2021 Volume 2021:13 Pages 21—28


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Margaret Wong-Riley

Jane W Chan,1 Noel CY Chan,2 Alfredo A Sadun1,3

1Department of Ophthalmology, Doheny Eye Institute, Pasadena, CA, USA; 2Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Correspondence: Jane W Chan Tel +1 702 290 9550
Fax +1 626 817 4745

Abstract: Glaucoma, a group of diseases characterized by progressive optic nerve degeneration that results in irreversible blindness, can be considered a neurodegenerative disorder of both the eye and the brain. Increasing evidence from human and animal studies have shown that glaucoma shares some common neurodegenerative pathways with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other tauopathies, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and frontotemporal dementia. This hypothesis is based on the focal adhesion pathway hypothesis and the spreading hypothesis of tau. Not only has the Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene been shown to be associated with AD, but also with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). This review will highlight the relevant literature in the past 20 years from PubMed that show the pathogenic overlap between POAG and AD. Neurodegenerative pathways that contribute to transsynaptic neurodegeneration in AD and other tauopathies might also be similar to those in glaucomatous neurodegeneration.

Keywords: primary open-angle glaucoma, tauopathy, amyloid precursor protein, phosphorylated tau, Alzheimer’s disease

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]