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A new FDA approved drug called Macugen promises to slow vision loss and reduce the risk of blindness in older patients suffering from the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the primary cause of vision loss in people over 55 and the wet form occurs in 10% of cases. However, the wet form accounts for 90% of severe vision loss due to AMD. The growth of abnormal, leaky blood vessels below the retina causes wet AMD. The leaking vessels damage the central vision. Mucagen stops the development of leaky blood vessels by blocking the vascular endothelial growth factor which causes it. Without treatment, all of central vision may be lost (near blindness) but peripheral vision will still be working. During studies, the drug was capable of stabilizing vision and in some causes even moderately improving it. Side effects include retinal detachment, eye lens injury and infection.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Web MD Medical News
About: New drug prevents vision loss
Date: 29 December 2004
Source: Web MD Medical News
Author: Jennifer Warner
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