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Researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear were stumped when they saw T cells in the retinas of mice with glaucoma, so they called in an immunologist. Now their collaboration has produced the intriguing conclusion that glaucoma might be an autoimmune disease.

In a paper released Friday, they reported that T cells, key soldiers in the immune system’s defense against microbes, play a role in the prolonged retinal degeneration seen in glaucoma. They also identified the target of the T cells: heat shock proteins, manufactured by both human cells and the bacteria residing within us.


This finding, published in Nature Communications, suggests that glaucoma may be an autoimmune disease resulting from T cells, primed to attack bacterial proteins, turning against human proteins instead. This discovery could unlock a critical new door for treatment options.

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  • This research has all the hallmarks of the probability that the outcome results that are advanced in the thesis and the research that is replicated exactly the same way, with the data that are the same across the board at probably the most significant aspect of the topic than has ever before been revealed, until this research has been established as authentic with the hypotheses confirmed. I applaud the researchers’ who were able to provide their outcome that does indeed confirm the hypothesis and makes the research valid in the development of what has now become a confirmed theory. Amazing and hopefully the end of the tragic experience of one who has lost their visual acuity.

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