The potential use of Growth Differentiation Factor 15 (GDF15) as a biomarker for the eye disease was first identified by a research team at Washington University. The marker is expected to improve treatment options for glaucoma patients.
Glaucoma is characterised by damage to the optic nerve that results in progressive, irreversible vision loss. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, the disease is the second leading cause of blindness. Nearly 10% of patients that receive treatment still experience loss of vision.
The disease currently lacks a screening or diagnostic test that could accurately predict progression. It is estimated that nearly 100 million people will be affected globally by 2020.