PMID: 15757408Mar 11, 2005Paper

Future pharmacological treatment options for nonexudative and exudative age-related macular degeneration

Expert Opinion on Emerging Drugs
Grant M ComerMark H Criswell

Abstract

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the industrialised world. Within the past decade, researchers have introduced many promising prevention and treatment options in an attempt to minimise the central vision loss imparted from AMD. Based on large-scale, randomised, prospective, placebo-controlled trials, a specially formulated combination of the antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, copper and zinc is the only proven means of AMD prophylaxis. Thermal laser photocoagulation and photodynamic therapy with verteporfin are the only standard treatment options. However, efficacy is limited and treatment is only applicable to a minority of AMD patients. Thus, alternative pharmacological interventions are in all phases of clinical development. Researchers are guardedly optimistic that these advances may change the entire approach to AMD management in the near future. This review article will detail the currently accepted treatment options, as well as describe several of the more promising investigational pharmacological approaches to AMD.

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