A glaucoma treatment that skips the poke in the eye

By Jan Jarvis

Suchismita Web
 
One of the ways researchers are exploring treating the optic nerve damage of glaucoma is an injection directly into the eye.

But Suchismita Acharya, PhD, is studying a different approach that not only takes the pain out of treating this blinding disease but also holds the promise of curing it.

HSC Insider

Learn more about UNTHSC’s people and programs by signing up for the weekly HSC Insider email.

“Wouldn’t an eye drop be so much better?” she said. “Who likes getting poked into the eye?”

Dr. Acharya, a Research Assistant Professor in Pharmacology & Neuroscience and the North Texas Eye Research Institute, is working on a small molecule that can treat glaucoma by simultaneously decreasing eye pressure and protecting neurons and retinal ganglion cells.

“Such a compound could lower pressure in the front of the eye and also reach the back of the eye to protect ganglion cells,” she said. “This could be a cure for glaucoma.”

Her lab has designed and synthesized a unique nanosuspension eye drop of the new hybrid molecule that can reach to the back of the eye. It can easily be manufactured and used to target glaucoma, Dr. Acharya said.

By 2020, more than 76 million people are estimated to be affected by glaucoma, which is associated with elevated eye pressure and progressive death of retinal ganglion cells.

Dr. Acharya said the unique design of the drug makes it possible to both decrease intraocular pressure and prevent retinal ganglion cell death.

BrightFocus Foundation has awarded a $150,000 research grant to Dr. Acharya to further explore this approach. The Maryland-based nonprofit organization supports scientific research for Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

“This grant will help me expand on this research study and allow me to apply for bigger grants to help in evaluating the drug in human eyes and ultimately develop an eye drop to treat glaucoma,” Dr. Acharya said.

Recent News

7281bfad 8597 4cef 80de B58ea8a26ab5
  • Community
|Jun 10, 2024

North Texas Asthma Summit to improve asthma outcomes for children

Representatives from 10 North Texas organizations will come together Wednesday with one common goal in mind: improving health outcomes for children with poorly controlled asthma. The goal of the North Texas Asthma Summit is to develop community partnerships to help these children who frequently e...
Dobbs Headshot
  • Our People
|Jun 7, 2024

School of Health Professions welcomes three new staff members

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s School of Health Professions is excited to announce three new staff members in the dean’s office. Christa Lo, DHSc, MPAS, PA-C, joins SHP as associate dean. In her role, she will assist in overseeing the school’s academic...
Drwhite
  • Our People
|Jun 6, 2024

TCOM Alumnus Dr. Frederick White receives the Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Service from the AOCR

In recognition of his outstanding leadership, dedication and service, Frederick E. White, DO, FAOCR, a 1977 graduate from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, was selected as the recipient of the American Osteopathic College ...
Hampton 5
  • On Campus
|Jun 5, 2024

Hampton University representatives visit HSC to build partnerships

A delegation of five representatives from Hampton University visited The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s campus on Friday. Hampton University is a private, historically Black university founded in 1868 in Hampton, Virginia. The group included President of Ham...