Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease with progressive retinal ganglion cell apoptosis. IOP elevation is a modifiable proven risk factor for glaucoma. Although a lot of new medicines and surgeries for lowering IOP have come in, glaucoma is still a leading cause of blindness in the world, motivating us to search IOP-independent treatment. Accumulating evidences point to an association between oxidative stress and glaucoma. Increased level of oxidative DNA damage, lipid peroxidation, and protein oxidation and reduced antioxidative status were observed in serum, trabecular meshwork, and aqueous humor of human glaucoma subjects. Antioxidants protect retinal ganglion cell apoptosis from IOP elevation, optic nerve injury, inflammation, and impaired ocular blood flow in vivo and in vitro. Some population-based epidemiological studies showed that higher antioxidant intake reduced risk of glaucoma. This review focused on the present evidence that support the possibility of antioxidant neuroprotective treatment for glaucoma.
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