Researchers recently investigated the neuroprotective effects of galantamine, an FDA-approved mild Alzheimer’s disease treatment, in a mouse model of induced traumatic optic neuropathy. The study, presented at the 2019 ARVO conference in Vancouver, found that post-injury treatment with galantamine protects the retina and optic nerve and preserves vision.

The team provided affected and sham mice either galantamine or placebo immediately after injury and for one month after. After a month, they performed ERG, VEP and OCT and assessed for oxidative stress, inflammation, cell death and synaptic changes.

The ERG and VEP results showed galantamine treatment preserved visual function, the researchers noted in the study. They found that galantamine preserved retinal synaptic overlap in the outer plexiform layer and prevented axon degeneration in the optic nerve. Further, galantamine protected against oxidative stress and prevented increases in IL-1α and IL-1β, they said.

The study authors concluded that galantamine, because of its protective effects to the retina and optic nerve, may become a promising treatment for indirect traumatic optic neuropathy.

Naguib S, Bernardo-Colon A, Cencer C, et al. Galantamine confers neuroprotection in a model of indirect traumatic optic neuropathy. ARVO 2019. Abstract 4407.