Did you know…
that the treatment of AMD was revolutionized in just the last 20 years with the introduction of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) neutralizing? Based on research begun in 1948 related to “Factor X,” VEGF was identified as a target of therapy. Today, anti-VEGF therapies not only prevent further vision loss, but in many cases restore vision that already has been lost.
We also have breakthroughs in stem cell transplantation and novel medication that could signal a new age for AMD patients. Researchers at the Unit on Ocular and Stem Cell Translational Research, National Eye Institute, NIH, in Bethesda, MD, have developed oncogenic mutation-free stem cells from the blood cells of three AMD patients. They grew new tissue from the cells, and transplanted it into animal subjects, where it demonstrated a powerful therapeutic effect. This is a significant advancement, which will next be tested in human subjects. Read more.
Bonnielin Swenor, MPH, PhD, is one of the most prominent scholars of low vision and aging. Her primary research focus is to determine how visual impairment affects the aging process, including the impact of vision loss and eye disease on physical and cognitive decline. One of her latest studies suggests that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help delay the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that Dr. Swenor herself has. Read more.