Effect of age-stiffening tissues and intraocular pressure on optic nerve damages

Leo K.K. Leung, Match W.L. Ko, David C.C. Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Age-stiffening of ocular tissues is statistically linked to glaucoma in the elderly. In this study, the effects of age-stiffening on the lamina cribrosa, the primary site of glaucomatous nerve damages, were modeled using computational finite element analysis. We showed that glaucomatous nerve damages and peripheral vision loss behavior can be phenomenologically modeled by shear-based damage criterion. Using this damage criterion, the potential vision loss for 30 years old with mild hypertension of 25mmHg intraocular pressure (IOP) was estimated to be 4%. When the IOP was elevated to 35mmHg, the potential vision loss rose to 45%; and age-stiffening from 35 to 60 years old increased the potential vision loss to 52%. These results showed that while IOP plays a central role in glaucomatous damages, age-stiffening facilitates glaucomatous damages and may be the principal factor that resulted in a higher rate of glaucoma in the elderly than the general population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-173
Number of pages17
JournalMCB Molecular and Cellular Biomechanics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 24 2012


  • Aging model
  • Damage model
  • Glaucoma
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Nerve damages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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