Primary open-angle glaucoma patients have reduced levels of blood docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids.Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2006; 74(3):157-63PL
The aetiology of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), which is the commonest cause of non-remediable blindness and visual impairment, is not well understood. Nevertheless, increased intraocular pressure, and vascular factors such as ocular blood flow deficits are thought to be risk factors. There is evidence of decreased optic nerve blood velocity and increased red blood cell aggregability in POAG. These factors are influenced by fatty acids. We have investigated if glaucoma patients have abnormal blood fatty acid composition. Patients with POAG (n=10) and their healthy siblings (n=8) were enrolled. Compared with their healthy siblings, the glaucoma patients had reduced eicosapentaenoic (EPA, P<0.01), and docosahexaenoic (DHA, P<0.05) fatty acids and total omega3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) (P<0.05) in red cell choline phosphoglycerides (CPG); decreased EPA (P<0.05) in ethanolamine phosphoglycerides (EPG); lower EPA (P<0.05) and total omega3 LCPUFA (P<0.05) in serine phosphoglycerides (SPG). Similarly, they had reduced EPA, DHA and total omega3 LCPUFA in plasma CPG (P<0.005) and triglycerides (P<0.05). These findings may be significant, since EPA and DHA could modulate impaired systemic microcirculation and ocular blood flow and optic neuropathy, which are the main physiological changes associated with glaucoma.