Last July we reported on a very exciting discovery of a new human body part! It was an extra layer in the eye, called Dua’s layer, named after its discoverer Dr Harminder Dua. The finding of the new layer, was expected to hold the key to many eye diseases, why they occurred, and more importantly, where we might find a cure.
Further research since its discovery has found that the new layer may actually play a vital role in the cause of glaucoma. Glaucoma occurs when fluid in the eye is not able to drain away properly, causing pressure to build up inside the eye. The pressure can then lead to damage of the optic nerve and also nerve fibres in the retina, which can have a devastating effect on the vision, and in 10% of cases can even lead to blindness. The Dua’s layer has now been found to play a vital role in controlling the fluid draining in from eye through a sieve like meshwork of cells called the Trabecular Meshwork (TM). Researchers at Nottingham University, who discovered the Dua’s layer, found that collagen fibres in the Dua’s layer branch out into the TM, and in fact the core of the TM is just an extension of the Duas layer.
It is hoped that this finding will offer new clues into drainage malfunctions occurring in the TM that can cause glaucoma, and furthermore will help to find methods for cures and prevention.