Glaucoma and Curcumin
Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by structural change of the optic nerve head and slowly progressive
death of retinal ganglion cells mainly by apoptosis. In addition to mechanical insult caused by elevated IOP, several mechanisms
are thought to be involved in the development and progression of glaucoma which could be targets for pharmacological intervention.
It is interesting to note that Curcumin has shown beneficial effects in all of these mechanisms (Figure 2).4
Figure 2: Curcumin has shown possible beneficial effects in most of the mechanisms that are thought to be involved in the
development and progression of glaucoma and which are the targets for pharmacological intervention (neuroprotection)
In my recent work I have found that Curcumin could be considered as a neuroprotective candidate in glaucoma.5 Not only can it bind to specific and relevant molecules on the target tissue, it can also penetrate far enough to reach
this tissue at levels that would be effective pharmacologically and it also demonstrated the ability to enhance neuronal survival
and lower damage in animal models. Additionally, a pilot study of Curcumin and phospholipids on glaucoma patients has shown
that it slows disease progression.
A clinical trial of Curcumin on patients with glaucoma is on the horizon.
Dr Andreas U. Bayer is an ophthalmology specalist in private practice in Weilheim in Upper Bavaria, Germany. He may be reached by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Bayer is a consultant of Nutrition, Science and Health (NSH), Munich, Germany, which manuafactures NSHNeuroprotekt, a complex
of Curcumin and omega3.
1. Collaborative Normal Tension Glaucoma Study, Am. J. Ophthalmol., 1998;126(4):487–497.
2. T. Krupin et al., Am. J. Ophthalmol., 2011;151(4):671–681.
3. B.B. Aggarwal and K.B. Harikumar, Int. J. Biochem. Cell. Biol., 2009;41(1):40–59.
4. R. Weinreb et al., Medical Treatment of Glaucoma, World Glaucoma Association Consensus Series 7, Kugler Publications, The Netherlands, 2010.
5. A. Bayer, The search for potential neuroprotective agents in glaucoma therapy: Is Ayurveda's Curcumin in a complex with Omega-3 EPA/DHA
and phospholipids one future direction? Poster presentation, WGC 2011, Paris, France.