Visual Defects and Ageing

  • Sergio Claudio SaccàEmail author
  • Carlo Alberto Cutolo
  • Tommaso Rossi
Part of the Subcellular Biochemistry book series (SCBI, volume 91)


Many diseases are related to age, among these neurodegeneration is particularly important. Alzheimer’s disease Parkinson’s and Glaucoma have many common pathogenic events including oxidative damage, Mitochondrial dysfunction, endothelial alterations and changes in the visual field. These are well known in the case of glaucoma, less in the case of neurodegeneration of the brain. Many other molecular aspects are common, such as the role of endoplasmic reticulum autophagy and neuronal apoptosis while others have been neglected due to lack of space such as inflammatory cytokine or miRNA. Moreover, the loss of specific neuronal populations, the induction of similar mechanisms of cell injury and the deposition of protein aggregates in specific anatomical areas are very similar events between these diseases. Intracellular and/or extracellular accumulation of protein aggregates is a key feature of many neurodegenerative disorders. The existence of abnormal protein aggregates has been documented in the RGCs of glaucomatous patients such as the anomalous Tau protein or the β-amyloid accumulations. Intra-cell catabolic processes also appear to be common in both glaucoma and neurodegeneration. They also help us to understand how the basis between these diseases is common and how the visual aspects can be a serious problem for those who are affected.


Glaucoma Alzheimer’s disease Parkinson’s disease Oxidative stress Mitochondria Endothelial dysfunction Trabecular meshwork Autophagy Visual field 



Anterior chamber


Alzheimer’s disease


Actin microfilaments


Aqueous humour


Age related macular degeneration


Extracellular matrix


Endoplasmic reticulum




Intermediate filaments


Juxtacanalicular connective tissue




Mitochondrial DNA


Nitric oxide


Optic nerve head


Parkinson’s disease


Protein kinases


Primary open-angle glaucoma


Retinal ganglion cells


Retinal nerve fibre layer


Reactive oxygen species


Reactive oxygen species


Schlemm’s canal


Superoxide dismutase


Trabecular meshwork


Unfolded protein response


Ultraviolet rays



The authors would like to thank Dr. Carmen Laethem for allowing us to publish her beautiful photograph of TM endothelial cells (Fig. 14.4).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergio Claudio Saccà
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carlo Alberto Cutolo
    • 2
  • Tommaso Rossi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Head/Neck PathologiesSt Martino Hospital, Ophthalmology UnitGenoaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics and Maternal and Child ScienceUniversity of Genoa, Policlinico San Martino Hospital, Eye Clinic GenoaGenoaItaly

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