Video–Dark Side of the Moon: Intracranial Pressure in Glaucoma

Three Top Stories from OIS@ASCRS Reporters’ Notebook

Excerpt from

The [Equinox] concept challenges conventional wisdom about the etiology of glaucoma and joins a growing body of evidence pointing to pressure-related factors beyond IOP. One alternative theory of glaucoma pathogenesis that has largely been overlooked until lately is pressure dysregulation involving cerebrospinal fluid (CSFP). The difference between IOP and CSFP across the lamina cribrosa helps maintain the optic nerve in its proper shape; an abnormal pressure gradient directly influences the physiology of the optic nerve head.

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Dark Side of the Moon: Intracranial Pressure in Glaucoma

Dr. Berdahl’s full presentation was shared on and is available at

Potential Breakthrough in Glaucoma Research [BizNOW]

Excerpt from BizNOW:

Dr. Berdahl began to question previous theories of the source of glaucoma during a scuba-diving experience with his wife 8 years ago. Considering the amount of pressure the water was putting on his eye, he wondered how it was possible that not all scuba divers develop this eye disease. The realization of this inconsistency in understanding glaucoma led to a fundamental discovery, as well as potential redefinition of this disease.

“That was the impetus for an idea which led to an understanding that glaucoma is not a disease just about pressure in the eye. It’s a disease about a pressure balance between the IOP (eye) pressure and the CSF (brain) pressure,” says Dr. Berdahl.

Extensive research conducted at both Mayo Clinic as well Duke University was compelling; indeed, the findings suggested that a pressure imbalance between a high eye pressure and low brain pressure is important in the development of glaucoma. With multiple other scientists conducting similar studies with consistent results, Dr. Berdahls’s idea proved sound.

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Presenter: Minimizing disparity between intraocular, intracranial pressures can prevent glaucoma [Healio]

Excerpt from Healio:

In a special session here at SECO, John Berdahl, MD, theorized that glaucoma results when the difference between the cerebrospinal fluid and intraocular pressures is too great.

Berdahl said he evaluated 50,000 patients who had lumbar puncture over the course of 20 years and found that intracranial pressure (ICP), or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure, was lower in people who had glaucoma and higher in people with ocular hypertension.

Regulating IOP in space—and redefining glaucoma [Ophthalmology Times]

Excerpt from Ophthalmology Times:

…Dr. Berdahl began to think of glaucoma not as a disease confined solely to the ocular system, but as a disease of pressure differences throughout the body. The body uniformly experiences these pressure increases during scuba diving; since pressure rises are not confined to one area the entire body negates the increase.

“We’ve previously thought of glaucoma as a pressure inside the eye, not a relative-pressure-to-something-else disease,” Dr. Berdahl said. He began exploring (retrospectively) the relationship between IOP and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure, and others have confirmed the initial hypothesis.

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Vision for Mars winner and SMARTCAP grant recipient Equinox, LLC

In recent years, the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) launched the “Vision for Mars” Challenge to assist NASA astronauts with innovative vision technology to assist and protect their vision during exposure to the challenges of space travel.

Equinox is proud to have been selected and funded by the NSBRI to continue research and production of innovative goggle technology that can protect astronauts’ vision during space travel.

One aspect of space travel is the change in pressure within the spacecraft and within the astronauts themselves. The goggle technology produced by Equinox, along with its revolutionary research into the relationship between eye pressure and brain pressure, can help protect astronauts from vision issues during space travel.

Equinox is excited to continue development of vision technology that will not only benefit astronauts during space travel, but also benefit millions of people on earth who suffer from glaucoma.

Thanks to our partnership with initiatives like Vision for Mars, Equinox truly is the intergalactic leader in the physics of ocular health.


Excerpt from youTube:

Vision for Mars winner and SMARTCAP grant recipient Equinox, LLC talks building capacity and gaining visibility by way of SMARTCAP. Watch as they demo their groundbreaking device that seeks to equalize eye pressure in glaucoma patients on Earth as well as in astronauts on long duration space flight.

Watch on youTube:

Top 40 Under 40 [The Ophthalmologist]

Dr. Berdahl was featured in The Ophthalmologist’s 2015 list of the top 40 ophthalmologists under 40, “young, up-and-coming individuals set to rise to the top of their field.”

Excerpt from The Ophthalmologist:

Berdahl has been chosen to take part in the Vision for Mars team, which is working closely with NASA and NSBRI to help solve vision problems during long-term space travel… Specializing in advanced cataract, corneal and glaucoma surgery, as well as refractive surgery, his research efforts are currently focused on intracranial pressure in glaucoma and fixing astigmatism after cataract surgery.

Three companies meet the ‘Vision for Mars’ Challenge with game-changing eye healthcare technologies for astronauts [Baylor College of Medicine]

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Equinox, LLC will develop Balance Goggles™, a simple and comfortable pair of eye wear that will help regulate the pressure inside the eye. “We believe that astronauts may be experiencing reverse glaucoma, which means they experience moderate pressure in the brain that pushes outward and onto the eye, causing some of the ocular pathologies”, said Dr. Dorit Donoviel, assistant professor in the Center for Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine Deputy Chief Scientist for NSBRI and Industry Forum lead.


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