Researchers working on possible alternative treatment for wet AMD

Researchers working on possible alternative treatment for wet AMD

Researchers have recently discovered that the enzyme, telomerase, plays a role in abnormal blood vessel formation in lab mice and this discovery may lead to new therapies in treating the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Researchers have recently discovered that the enzyme, telomerase, plays a role in abnormal blood vessel formation in lab mice and this discovery may lead to new therapies in treating the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The current treatment for wet AMD is intravitreal Anti-VEGF injections but these injections do have drawbacks with almost half of patients not responding to the treatments after two years. Scarring of the retina can also result from the repeated injections.

Once researchers established that telomerase plays a role in abnormal blood vessel formation in mice with wet AMD, they tested the effect of an experimental compound that inhibits telomerase activity. This compound lowered telomerase activity in healthy mice and when injected into mice with wet AMD, the number of abnormal blood vessels was greatly reduced. The results of the experimental drug's effectiveness at stopping abnormal blood vessel formation was comparable to anti-VEGF injections. However, researchers discovered that when using low doses of anti-VEGF and the experimental drug in conjunction to treat the wet AMD, the greatest impact was made.

While additional research is needed, scientists are optimistic and excited about the potential for a new therapy to treat wet AMD to be developed.

 

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