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Main_2018-02-22

US Scientists discover new trigger for Macular Degeneration

Thursday 22 February 2018

In a major advance in the understanding of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), researchers at the University of Virginia (UVA) have identified one of the very first events that triggers the overdrive of inflammation which ultimately leads to the condition.

The enzyme cGAS has long been known to detect foreign DNA and trigger the body's response to many forms of infection. Now for the first time this enzyme has been linked to the advent of Dry AMD. This comes as a complete surprise, as AMD is not viral or bacterial in nature.

The discovery could potentially lead to new early-intervention therapies. As Dr Nagaraj Kerur, assistant professor at UVA's Department of Ophthalmology, comments: "Because the target we're talking about is an enzyme, we could develop small molecules that could block it."

The discovery comes at a good time, following a series of clinical trials into other possible treatments for Dry AMD which have come to nothing over recent years.

Sources:

  1. UVA TODAY:
    UVA DISCOVERS TRIGGER FOR MACULAR DEGENERATION THAT ROBS MILLIONS OF VISION.

  2. Optometry Today:
    INFLAMMATION TRIGGER IDENTIFIED.

Labels:

Macular degeneration, vision loss

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