MCW collaborates in the investigation of age-related macular degeneration prevention

By Alex Krouse

Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), in collaboration with the University of Arizona, the University of Miami, and Marshfield Clinic, have found that a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease helps to delay or prevent the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common form of blindness among older Americans.
The findings, published in the American Journal of Medicine, are in effort to find a preventative treatment for AMD, which affects as many as 11 million Americans. AMD hinders central vision and, even when it does not lead to blindness, can severely reduce the ability to read, drive and recognize faces.
In the study led by MCW alumnus and co-principle investigator, Brian McKay, PhD, of the University of Arizona, researchers discovered a biological connection between darker pigmented eyes, which are known to be resistant to AMD, and increased levels of a chemical called L-DOPA. Since L-DOPA is frequently prescribed for Parkinson’s patients, the researchers wanted to know whether patients who received the drug L-DOPA as treatment for Parkinson’s or other diseases were protected from AMD. By analyzing databases of medical chart data, the researchers reported that patients receiving L-DOPA were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with AMD; and for patients diagnosed with AMD, its onset was significantly delayed.
The research findings are based on an analysis of the medical records of 37,000 patients at the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin……..
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Source: Lake Country Now

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