Glaucoma Foundation shifts focus to exfoliation syndrome

Jul 08, 2013

Since its founding by world-renown glaucoma specialist Robert Ritch, MD, in 1984, The Glaucoma Foundation has been funding groundbreaking glaucoma research, primarily in the areas of neuroprotection and genetics. Now, the foundation has sharpened its focus to finding a cure for exfoliation syndrome, the leading identifiable cause of open-angle glaucoma worldwide and the most important cause of complications during routine cataract surgery.

New York-Since its founding by world-renown glaucoma specialist Robert Ritch, MD, in 1984, The Glaucoma Foundation (TGF) has been funding groundbreaking glaucoma research, primarily in the areas of neuroprotection and genetics.

Now, the foundation has sharpened its focus to finding a cure for exfoliation syndrome (XFS), the leading identifiable cause of open-angle glaucoma worldwide and the most important cause of complications during routine cataract surgery.

“TGF believes that it is time to direct our research efforts toward curing the various glaucomas, with the present focus on XFS,” said Scott Christensen, president of TGF. “All our efforts . . . will be consistent with that goal.”

Christensen added that TGF’s leadership of renowned specialists uniquely positions the foundation for this ambitious project.

XFS is an age-related systemic disease characterized by the production and accumulation of a whitish material in many ocular as well as non-ocular tissues. Some 80 million people worldwide have the disorder. The precise pathogenesis of XFS remains unknown.

“We feel that the time is right and the technology [is] available to begin to consider reversing the formation of exfoliation material, ameliorating the clinical manifestations, and eventually achieving a cure," added Dr. Ritch, medical director for TGF.

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