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Francesca Cappelli, Francesca Caudano, Maria Marenco, Valeria Testa, Alessandro Masala, Daniele Sindaco, Angelo Macrì, Carlo E. Traverso, Michele Iester, Roberta Ricciarelli; Evaluating the Correlation between Alzheimer's Amyloid-β Peptides and Glaucoma in Human Aqueous Humor. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(5):21. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.5.21.
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Recent studies suggest that glaucoma may share common pathogenic mechanisms with Alzheimer's disease. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the correlation between glaucoma and amyloid-β42 (Aβ42) concentration in human samples of aqueous humor (AH).
Eighty-one candidates for cataract or glaucoma surgery were consecutively enrolled, with a median age of 77 years; of these, 32 subjects were affected by glaucoma and 49 were controls. Before surgery, each patient received an ophthalmological examination including biometry, intraocular pressure (IOP) measurement, fundus photography, and determination of the mean thickness of the ganglion cell complex (GCC) and/or retinal nerve fiber layer. During the surgical procedure, an AH sample was collected and immediately processed for total protein (TP) and Aβ42 evaluation.
Aβ42 levels were not statistically different between the glaucomatous and control samples, but a significant increase in TP concentration was found in the AH of glaucoma patients compared with controls (P = 0.02). In addition, positive correlations were observed between TP and Aβ42 (r = 0.51; P < 0.0001), between TP and IOP (r = 0.44; P < 0.0001), and between Aβ42 and IOP (r = 0.22; P = 0.033).
Our results indicate that an increased protein concentration in the AH could play a role in the pathogenesis of glaucomatous disease.
This study strongly supports the hypothesis that increased TP in the AH may have a pathogenic role in glaucoma. Further investigations are needed to clarify whether the protein enhancement represents a causative factor and whether it can be used as a marker of disease or as a novel therapeutic target.
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