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Research to Prevent Blindness

Study Links Aging Immune Cells and AMD

RPB-supported researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have published a new study suggesting that aging immune cells increase the risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of blindness in the United States.

The researchers found that as immune cells called macrophages age, they are more likely to contribute to the inflammation and abnormal blood vessel growth that damage vision in AMD. According to one of the lead researchers on the study, which was published in the scientific journal JCI Insight, the findings could impact future treatment options.

Rajendra S. Apte, MD, PhD, senior investigator on the study. 

“Drug treatments for macular degeneration aren’t effective for some patients, who either have a minimal response or no response at all, and many patients continue to experience vision loss over the long term, even if they have a good initial response to treatment,” said senior investigator Rajendra S. Apte, MD, PhD, the Paul A. Cibis Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. “But by understanding what happens with the immune cells in the eye, it may be possible to develop therapies to help patients who can’t be helped with existing drugs.”

Read the full news article from WUSMSL

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