How stress accelerates vision loss

Researchers have found that stress causes eye cells to die faster. A danger to eyesight.

A study points to a new harmful consequence of stress. According to a study conducted by the University of California (USA), stress accelerates vision loss by causing eye cells to die faster. Research conducted on mice showed that repeated stress caused eye cells to age. Because of this, they may die earlier. These results were published in the scientific journal Aging cell.

Our work emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis and prevention, as well as the specific management of age-related diseases, including glaucoma.”, Skowronska-Krawczyk, an assistant professor in the departments of physiology and biophysics and ophthalmology on the faculty of the Center for Translational Vision Research at the UCI School of Medicine, said in the university’s statement. Before adding:The observed epigenetic changes suggest that the modifications at the chromatin level are acquired cumulatively after several instances of stress. This gives us a window of opportunity to prevent vision loss if and when the disease is detected early.“.

Measuring epigenetic age of retinal tissue

In this study, the researchers analyzed the optic nerve head in eyes treated with a slight increase in pressure. The team noted that in the optic nerve head, there was no evidence of loss of axons (nerve extensions). However, in the optic nerves of aged animals, a significant loss of axons was observed, similar to the phenomenon observed in patients with glaucoma.

Using a new tool, researchers have found that a mild and repeated increase in intraocular pressure can accelerate the epigenetic aging of tissues. “In addition to measuring visual decline and some structural changes due to stress and potential treatment, we can now measure the epigenetic age of retinal tissue and use it to find the optimal strategy to prevent vision loss with aging.“, the scientist announced.

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