Research provides new insight into possible causes of AMD among older people
Research from the University of Southampton gives new insight into possible causes of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss among people aged 50 and older.
The study, published in the journal Experimental Eye Research, discovered that a group of proteins, which are linked to Alzheimer’s disease, are able to accumulate in the retina and damage it.
The researchers hope that the discovery could lead to better treatments for patients.
AMD is a progressive disease that causes the death of the retinal photoreceptors, the light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye. The most severe damage occurs in the macula, a small area of the retina that is needed for sharp, central vision necessary for reading, driving and other daily tasks.
There are two different types of AMD – ‘wet’ and ‘dry’. In wet AMD, the growth of leaky blood vessels which damage the retina can be stopped.. However, this does not work for everyone, and is a way to manage rather than cure wet AMD. By contrast, dry AMD has no approved treatment as yet.
Dr Arjuna Ratnayaka, a Lecturer in Vision Sciences at the University of Southampton, who led the study, said: “We know that AMD is caused by a combination of genetic, environmental and lifestyle risk factors, but this novel discovery could open up new possibilities to understand how the ageing retina becomes damaged. Such advances are important if we are to develop better AMD treatments in the future….
Source: News Medical