Stephen Rose: Hi! I am Dr. Stephen Rose and I am here to talk to you today about age-related macular degeneration, also called AMD. And the research that is currently taking place to find new and better treatments for this disease. Unfortunately there is no cure for AMD. But thanks to diligent research, the precise causes of AMD are becoming better understood and more effective treatments are underway. There are several new treatment approaches that look promising for halting vision loss and possibly even restoring vision for people with AMD. Let's start with gene therapy.
Our genes instruct our bodies on how to function. Just as faulty genes can cause disease, researchers have also learned that certain genes can help treat disease. This is exactly what researchers are working to do with AMD. They are placing a Therapeutic gene into the eye to help stop the growth and bleeding of abnormal blood vessels deformed with wet AMD. By stopping this bleeding under the retina doctors are hoping to also stop the vision loss that comes with wet AMD. Retinal cell transplantation is another treatment that looks promising for AMD. Using this approach doctors are working towards restoring vision for patients with AMD, by adding a layer of healthy cells directly to the retina to replace the cells that have been lost to the disease. A third novel approach uses visual prosthetics to help restore sight for people who have lost a significant amount of vision to AMD. Researchers are currently developing tiny microelectronic devices that could be implanted into the retina to mimic the eye's functions. And last but not least more pharmaceuticals and nutritional therapies are under development for this disease. Researchers are studying a number of drugs, eye drops, proteins, vitamins and supplements that may slow or halt vision loss due to wet or dry AMD.
Research is moving at a fast pace and clinical trials will soon be underway for many of these potential treatments. Consult your doctor on the latest developments and opportunities to take part in a clinical trial. And remember that the Foundation Fighting Blindness provides regular and comprehensive updates on AMD research efforts, emerging treatments and information on clinical trials. If you'd like learn more, visit fightblindness.
org and check out our other videos on AMD.