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Current therapeutic development for atrophic age-related macular degeneration
  1. Jakub Hanus1,
  2. Fangkun Zhao1,2,
  3. Shusheng Wang1,3
  1. 1Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  2. 2Fourth Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning, P. R. China
  3. 3Department of Ophthalmology, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Shusheng Wang, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Department of Ophthalmology, Tulane University, 2000 Percival Stern Hall, 6400 Freret Street, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA; swang1{at}tulane.edu

Abstract

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a degenerative disorder of the central retina, is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the elderly. The underlying mechanism of the advanced form of dry AMD, also named geographic atrophy (GA) or atrophic AMD, remains unclear. Consequently, no cure is available for dry AMD or GA. The only prevention option currently available is the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formulation, which has been demonstrated to slow down the progression of dry AMD. This review summarises recent advances in therapy for dry AMD and GA. Building on the new understanding of the disease and recent technological breakthroughs, numerous ongoing clinical trials have the goal of meeting the need to cure AMD. Therapeutic agents are being developed to target the key features of the disease, including inhibiting the complement pathway and other inflammatory pathways, reducing oxidative stress and protecting retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, inhibiting lipofuscin and visual cycle, regenerating RPE cells from stem cells and restoring choroidal blood flow. Some of these therapeutic options, especially the stem cell-based therapy, hold great promise, which brings great hope for this devastating blinding disease.

  • Degeneration
  • Macula
  • Retina
  • Inflammation

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