Age-related Macular Degeneration

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It is one of our strangest but also most logical fears, that of getting stung in the eye. It may even count as the biggest fear of those who are generally afraid of needles. But it has been recently found that such a procedure could realize one of the feats that have stumped science for millennia.

That of reversing blindness. In this case, it might be a bit exaggerated to say so, but the results of a recent clinical trial have indeed been able to stop and even reverse the symptoms of a condition that counts among the leading causes of blindness in the US.

AMD or Age-related Macular Degeneration is a very common disease but one of its much rarer strands called wet-AMD that affects approximately 10 percent of AMD sufferers causes blood vessels to grow under the retina and leak blood into the eye. The accumulation of the fluid can cause permanent eye damage and eventually debilitate a person’s vision.

  • The clinical trial in question was led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Medical center in Maryland. They literally injected a a specially tailored version of a virus similar to the common cold into the eyes of the subjects which caused a strong reaction by the body’s immune system that cleared out the accumulated fluid and cleaned up the eyes thus reversing the blindness of the patients.
  • This is by no means the first known treatment of this condition, however previous methods have proven very impractical as they require frequent eye injections and some even lead to an increased exposure to heart disease and strokes while only stopping the progress of the disease. Therefore a new cure inspired by these results would make a single lifetime injection sufficient, not only to stop the condition from worsening but to actually reverse it and give the sufferers back their full sight.

The trial was done on a fairly small sample of people but it has been enough to warrant a bigger research in the near future that has the medical community on its toes with optimism.

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