ABUJA, August 20, 2012 - The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation (SEOF) today announced it is sponsoring a research initiative on glaucoma at the Department of Ophthalmology at the Univerity of Mainz in Mainz, Germany. SEOF has so far committed a sum of 100,000 Euros (€100,000) to the initiative.

Researchers at the Department of Ophthalmology at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz have discovered intriguing autoimmune phenomenon that may contribute to a better understanding of the genesis of glaucoma. The  study, published recently in Molecular Vision, suggests that the analysis of intraocular antibodies could provide further hints for autoimmune involvement in glaucoma.

In the study, "New insights into autoantibody profiles from immune privileged sites in the eye: A glaucoma study." researchers found a strong correlation of detected immunoreactivities in sera and comparative aqueous humor samples in two separate study groups -- one consisting of subjects with glaucoma and the other without.

"These results emphasize the specificity of immunoreactions found in blood samples of glaucoma patients," the researchers wrote. "Furthermore they indicate the necessity of analyzing not only up-regulated but also down-regulated antibody reactivities, which might be likewise relevant for the understanding of other diseases."

It is the conviction of SEOF that mankind will benefit greatly by this effort, hence the commitment to support this research initiative. 

According to the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information, glaucoma is a worldwide eye affliction affecting more than 60 million people. It is the most frequent cause of irreversible blindness. In fact, by the year 2020, it is estimated that there will be 11 million individuals who are blind from glaucoma.

So far the causes of the genesis of glaucoma are still relatively poorly understood. 

About the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation

The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation is a philanthropic organization based in Oraifite, Anambra State, Nigeria. The Foundation seeks to alleviate the suffering of the less privileged through philanthropy, and focuses primarily on giving support and hope to those in need irrespective of tribe, creed, religion and nation. To date, the foundation has committed more than ?750 million ($4.7 million USD) to charitable projects. For more information, visit http://sireofforfoundation.org.