Directed Therapy for Exfoliation Syndrome

Allison Angelilli1, Robert Ritch*, 1, 2
1 Einhorn Clinical Research Center, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, New York, NY, USA
2 Department of Ophthalmology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY, USA

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© Angelilli and Ritch Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Glaucoma Service, Department of Ophthalmology, The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, 310 East 14th Street, New York, NY 10003, USA; Tel: (212) 673-5140; Fax: (212) 420- 8743; E-mail:


Exfoliation syndrome (XFS) is an age-related disorder of the extracellular matrix that leads the production of abnormal fibrillar material that leads to elevated intraocular pressure and a relatively severe glaucoma. Exfoliation material is deposited in numerous ocular tissues and extraocular organs. XFS is associated with ocular ischemia, cerebrovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease and cardiovascular disease. Current modalities of treatment include intraocular pressure lowering with topical antihypertensives, laser trabeculoplasty and filtration surgery. The disease paradigm for XFS should be expanded to include directed therapy designed specifically to target the underlying disease process. Potential targets include preventing the formation or promoting the depolymerization of exfoliation material. Novel therapies targeting trabecular meshwork may prove particularly useful in the care of exfoliative glaucoma. The systemic and ocular associations of XFS underscore the need for a comprehensive search for neuroprotective agents in its treatment.