Eye Health News

Parkinson's drug key to preventing macular degeneration?

Researchers at the University of Arizona led a study examining the benefits of using levodopa, a common treatment for Parkinson's, to delay or prevent the onset of macular degeneration. Levodopa (otherwise known as l-dopa) is a naturally occurring molecule that is created in pigmented human tissue such as the eye's iris. L-dopa plays a role in sustaining the health of the macula. Pouring over the health records of 37,000 patients, researchers analyzed the data to determine who had macular degeneration, who took l-dopa or both. What they discovered is that patients who took l-dopa prior to developing macular degeneration were diagnosed with the disease eight years later than those who had never taken l-dopa. In addition, there were fewer macular degeneration patients in the group who had taken l-dopa. The next step of the study involved analyzing the medical records of 87 million patients and the same link between macular degeneration and l-dopa held. This follow-up analysis also demonstrated that l-dopa prevented or delayed the wet form of macular degeneration. The next step will be a clinical trial to confirm the research findings.*

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