UBC-U of S research offers hope for treatment of age-related blindness

tween anti-inflammatories and macular degeneration.

The researchers emphasize that further study is required to confirm their findings, but if they are corroborated, anti-inflammatories would be the first approach for this intractable disease. Related questions such as optimum dosage and when to begin treatment need to be answered. Also, since NSAIDS can have side effects such as stomach upset, ulcers and stress on kidneys, they are not appropriate for everyone and criteria for high-risk patients that would benefit from their use will need to be defined.

Macular degeneration is the most common cause of severe vision loss in Canada, especially among the elderly, according to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. It causes one in three cases of reported vision loss. The condition causes light-sensitive cells in the macula, or central portion of the retina, to degenerate. The macula is responsible for perceiving fine visual detail. Early signs of macular degeneration include blurring of vision when performing detailed tasks like reading or sewing.

AMD is the most common form of the disease and causes permanent loss of central vision. There are two forms of AMD wet and dry with more than 85 per cent of cases being the dry form, for which there is no effective treatment.



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