New research shedding light on the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) may have far-reaching implications for the treatment of the condition and diseases associated with it, experts have noted.
Paul Sieving, director of the National Eye Institute, said that the study carried out at the University of Kentucky into the cause of geographic atrophy could potentially help to save the sight of thousands of people.
"These findings provide important new clues on the biological basis of geographic atrophy and may provide avenues for intervention through preventing toxic accumulation of abnormal RNA products," he explained.
Napoleone Ferrara, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, added that the research provides "important mechanistic insights" into geographic atrophy, which occurs in the later stages of AMD.
It comes after the American Academy of Ophthalmology predicted that, by 2020, 43 million Americans will be at risk of significant vision loss or blindness from age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration.
by Adrian Galbreth