Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world and scientists at the University of Birmingham in the UK may have just developed a treatment for it!
According to the results of the collaborative research, published in Investigative Opthamology and Visual Science, scientists have developed a type of eye drop for AMD that could potentially revolutionise treatment for the disease. Read on for more.
Repeated injections into the eye on a monthly basis has been the only option to treat age-related macular degeneration up until now
AMD is a painless condition that causes people to gradually lose their central vision
, usually in both eyes. According to the study, it affects more than 600,000 people in the UK alone and predictions suggest that this number could rise drastically in future due to an ageing
Up until now, there’s only been one treatment for AMD: Repeated injections into the eye on a monthly basis over at least three years. The problem with this treatment is that it’s very unpleasant for patients to endure. The injections can cause infections and tearing inside the eye as well as increased risk of blindness.
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University of Birmingham scientists have found a way to deliver the injected age-related macular degeneration drug as an eye drop instead
The team of scientists behind this study were led by biochemist Felicity de Cogan from the University of Birmingham's Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
. The team has developed a method of delivering the injected AMD drug as an eye drop instead. They confirm that their laboratory research has achieved the same outcomes as the injected drug.
The scientists explain that the eye drop uses a cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) to deliver the drug to the relevant part of the eye in a matter of minutes.
“The CPP-drug has the potential to have a significant impact on the treatment of AMD by revolutionising drug-delivery options. Efficacious self-administered drug application by eye drop would lead to a significant reduction in adverse outcomes and health care costs compared with current treatments,” said de Cogan.
“The CPP-plus drug complex also has potential application to other chronic ocular diseases that require drug delivery to the posterior chamber of the eye. We believe this is going to be very important in terms of empowering of patients and reducing the cost of treatment to the NHS,” she concluded.
For more information on these eye drops that treat macular degeneration, consult your doctor, who will be able to tell you when they’ll be available locally.