The Impact of Medical Progress on Macular Degeneration

An example of the world moving forward, even though the really flashy biotechnology is still in the laboratory rather than the clinic: "Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most frequent cause of blindness in the Western World. A [report] shows the number of new cases of blindness and severe visual loss in Denmark has been halved during the last ten years. ... [Researchers] examined the records of 11,848 new cases of legal blindness. The rate of blindness from AMD fell from 522 cases per million inhabitants aged 50 years or older in 2000, to 257 cases per million in 2010, a reduction by over 50 per cent. The bulk of the decrease occurred after 2006, following the introduction of new effective treatment for wet AMD, which is characterised by leaking blood vessels having formed under the fovea. The treatment consists of repeated injections into the eye of a medication that inhibits the signalling molecule vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). ... The observations from Denmark were published together with a corroborating report from Israel that found comparable changes in the incidence of legal blindness in that country. ... The massive implementation of modern wet AMD therapy has been a challenge. It is therefore very important that we can now show an impact on public health and it is wonderful to see a reduction in severe visual loss."

Link: http://news.ku.dk/all_news/2012/2012.1/danish-report-shows-risk-of-blindness-halved/

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