Many older Americans have to contend with eye troubles at some point in life, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). While there is no cure for AMD, a new study suggests there may be a way to delay its onset.
The study focused on patients who were receiving L-DOPA, a drug that improves nerve signal condition and lessens the movement complications of Parkinson’s disease. The study found that those who were taking L-DOPA developed AMD significantly later in life (79 years), than their peers (71 years).
According to a MNT report, researchers first started to consider the drug normally used to treat Parkinson’s as a deterrent for AMD when they noticed that eyes with darker pigments had naturally higher levels of L-DOPA. Dark-pigment eyes are generally less likely to develop AMD.
“Rather than looking at what might cause AMD, we instead wondered why certain people are protected from AMD,” said Brian McKay, a research associate professor in ophthalmology and vision science at the University of Arizona and senior author of the study. “This approach had never been done before.”
This study was a review of medical records, not a clinical trial. Researchers first reviewed records of 37,000 people, then confirmed their findings by reviewing a database of 87 million records worldwide. Researchers next want to conduct clinical trials.
Macular degeneration is a condition that affects the clarity and sharpness of one’s central vision. It is a leading cause of vision loss, and affects millions of Americans according to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation. It’s a common complication found in conjunction with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Uncovering preventative measures for AMD will go a long way in helping improve the lives of millions of Americans.
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