Potential role for Ginkgo biloba extract in the treatment of glaucoma.


Ritch R




Med Hypotheses


Glaucoma is becoming recognized as a condition for which not only elevated intraocular pressure, but also non-pressure-dependent risk factors are responsible. New avenues of treatment into which investigations are being initiated include agents which could possibly improve blood flow to the eye and neuroprotective drugs. Only calcium channel blockers are presently available for such treatment in glaucoma, and these have not been widely adopted, in contrast to clinical trials involving a number of neuroprotectants in other neurologic disorders. Ginkgo biloba extract is freely available and has several biological actions which combine to make it a potentially important agent in the treatment of glaucoma: improvement of central and peripheral blood flow, reduction of vasospasm, reduction of serum viscosity, antioxidant activity, platelet activating factor inhibitory activity, inhibition of apoptosis, and inhibition of excitotoxicity. The effect of Ginkgo biloba extract as a potential antiglaucoma therapy deserves intensive scrutiny.