"Role of insulin resistance in the eye and brain"
Institution: NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Principal Investigator: Dr. Kevin Chan
Research Category: Basic Science
Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease of the visual system and is the world’s leading cause of irreversible blindness. Currently, all clinically available glaucoma treatments aim at lowering intraocular pressure (IOP). However, increased IOP is only one of the major risk factors, and glaucoma can continue to progress even at low IOPs. This leads to an unmet need to target beyond IOP to further slow down or stop the disease. Recent evidence suggests that IOP elevation is associated with insulin resistance, i.e. diminished cellular sensitivity to insulin. While dysfunctional insulin signaling may contribute to apoptosis in disorders of the brain and the retina, its role in glaucoma pathogenesis remains largely understudied. This hinders the opportunity to explore targeted treatments for the disease. In this proposal, we aim to address this issue by developing in vivo experimental model systems to test the hypothesis that insulin resistance is involved in the glaucomatous damages of the eye and brain’s visual system. The outcomes will be of impact in determining if insulin resistance is cardinal to glaucoma and potentially other neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s, and whether targeting insulin resistance can be a therapeutic regimen.
The above project description has been supplied by the Principal Investigator