Research: MICHELS and GARHÖFER,

Listed in Issue 255

Abstract

MICHELS and GARHÖFER, S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland reviewed the published literature regarding therapeutic options in the prevention of progression to non-neovascular  age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Background

The discovery of several genetic variants associated with an increased risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has led to a completely new understanding of AMD.

Methodology

In addition to the known modifiable risk factors, genetic risk factors may also help to assess the risk to progress to non-neovascular AMD. Recently published primary studies have indicated that genetic risk analysis may be valuable in the selection of the currently available antioxidant therapy.

Results

So far, the best evidence for preventing progression to non-neovascular AMD comes from the Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS) I and II. These studies indicate that high doses of antioxidants can reduce the risk of progression to the advanced form of the disease. However, the recent evaluation of the addition of either lutein and zeaxanthin, or ω-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, or both, to the established AREDS I formulation did not significantly reduce the risk of developing advanced AMD. There is clearly a large unmet medical need for new therapeutic options for non-neovascular AMD.

Conclusion

The modulation of the complement cascade is - despite initially disappointing outcomes obtained with blocking complement factor 5 - currently the most promising approach to the treatment of non-neovascular AMD.

References

Michels S, Garhöfer G. Nonneovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Dev Ophthalmol.55:112-24. 2016 doi: 10.1159/000434695. Epub Oct 26 2015.

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