Improved AMD treatments and preventive measures required

May 11, 2011

A study published in Ophthalmology has called for an improvement in preventive measures and novel treatments for early and late age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

A study published in Ophthalmology has called for an improvement in preventive measures and novel treatments for early and late age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Dr Fridbert Jonasson et al., University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland, conducted a population-based cohort study on 5272 people over 66 years of age. A 45-degree digital camera was used to record fundus images through dilated pupils. The modified Wisconsin Age-Related Maculopathy Grading System was used to assess drusen size, type, area, increased retinal pigment, retinal pigment epithelial depigmentation, neovascular lesions and geographic atrophy (GA).

The findings showed that the prevalence of early AMD was 12.4% for patients aged 66 to 74 years and 36% for those aged 85 years or more. Occurrence of exudative AMD was 3.3% and pure GA was 2.4%. It was found that those aged 85 and above had a higher prevalence of late AMD, with 7.6 % experiencing exudative AMD and 7.6% for pure GA.

From the results it was determined that patients at 85 years old or older are 10 times more likely to develop late AMD than those aged 70-74 years. In an ageing population in Western society improvements in preventive measures and new treatments are, therefore, needed.