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A dry AMD treatment?; some long-term diabetics escape PDR
Date:10/17/2010

CHICAGOAt the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Middle East-Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) Joint Meeting today, researchers report progress on two top eye disease challenges: treating advanced "dry" age-related macular degeneration, and preventing blindness in people with diabetes. The Joint Meeting is in session October 16 through 19 at McCormick Place, Chicago. The AAO-MEACO meeting is the world's largest, most comprehensive ophthalmic education conference.

Proven Arthritis Drug Shows Promise versus Dry AMD:

While ophthalmologists can turn to several medications for patients with vision-threatening "wet" age-related macular degeneration (AMD), there are no effective treatments for advanced "dry" AMD, the more common form. Today a research group led by Jason S. Slakter, MD, New York University School of Medicine, reports on a phase-two clinical trial of fenretinide, a synthetic derivative of vitamin A. Risk of developing wet AMD decreased almost two-fold in dry AMD patients who took the medication. Geographic atrophy (GA) lesion growth was also reduced in the fenretinide group. This reduced growth correlated with lowered blood levels of the biomarker retinol binding protein (RBP)an indication that fenretinide was working. Patients whose RBP decreased 60 percent or more also had the most significant reductions in lesion growth. GA lesions degrade the area of the eye called the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), which can result in significant vision loss.

Advanced AMD, in either wet or dry form, can destroy the detailed, central vision we need to recognize faces, read, drive, and enjoy daily life. It is a major cause of vision loss in the United States. In the advanced wet form abnormal new blood vessels develop under the retina, then bleed or leak fluid and form scars. Advanced dry AMD sometimes abruptly converts to the wet form.

Fenretinide works on three key AMD disease mechanisms: it has strong ant
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Contact: Mary Wade
mwade@aao.org
510-725-5677
American Academy of Ophthalmology
Source:Eurekalert

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