NIH launches international study of AMD progression

Natural history investigation will deploy latest advances to identify biomarkers, targets for early therapy

A new clinical study led by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, will follow 500 people over five years to learn more about the natural history of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD). By using the latest technologies to visualize structures within the eye and measure their function, researchers hope to identify biomarkers of disease progression, well before it advances to late-stage disease and causes vision loss. AMD is the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among people age 50 and older in the United States.

“The findings will contribute to our understanding of the underlying biology driving the transition from early to late-stage disease so that therapies can be developed to halt its progression,” said the study’s lead investigator, Emily Y. Chew, M.D., deputy clinical director at NEI and director of the NEI Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications. “Treatments that halt the disease at its early stage would have an enormous public health impact.”

giraffe-like macular pattern in the retina of a person with a specific kind of retinal damage called a reticular pseudodrusen

Fundus photo shows giraffe-like macular pattern in the retina of a person with reticular pseudodrusen.

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This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022