Researchers explore macular degeneration treatment

October 28, 2013

Researchers from the Tufts University School of Medicine have found a possible topical treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by applying a molecule called PPADS to the eye in the form of eye drops.  While 90 percent of patients suffer from the dry form, the only treatment currently available is solely for the more serious wet form. This involves going to the ophthalmologist about every six weeks to have drugs injected directly into the eye — a very inconvenient process for both patient and doctor with significant side effects.

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology Rajendra Kumar-Singh was excited to find the topical solution, as the treatment has the potential to treat both the wet and dry forms of AMD.  

“In the vast majority of patients, the wet form is preceded by the dry form, and hence we believe that if we can block the progression of the dry form of the disease, we can treat both the dry form and the progression to the wet form,” Kumar-Singh said.

Kerstin Birke, a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Ophthalmology, noted that there are still problems the research team must face before PPADS can proceed to clinical trials.

“It’s a very broad molecule, and it acts on many receptors,” she said. “The ideal molecule would be an analog of PPADS which only acts on the pathway that is activated through the disease process.” 

Kumar-Singh added that this treatment will take many years to perfect and test for safety.

However, researchers  are still hopeful. 

“If [PPADS] works, we will be able to free patients up from having to come into the office on such a regular basis and having this invasive procedure performed,”  Jay Duker, professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Tufts School of Medicine,  said. “They’ll be able to treat their macular degeneration at home by putting drops in their eyes.” 

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New lens to prevent macular degeneration

October 14, 2013

New Zealand will be the first to get a new preventive lens to help stop macular degeneration, the country’s leading cause of blindness.

Optometrist Thomas Martin says research has discovered that certain blue lights can worsen the condition, and the lens is being developed to block these.

“The sources of blue light are visible light, when you’re outside when we’re living our lives, but also with tablets and smartphones and the new televisions which use LED screens.”

Thomas Martin says this knowledge will help the one in seven New Zealanders who go on to develop macular degeneration.

Is this similar to e-scoops? See E-Scoop Lenses for Macular Degeneration

Oral pazopanib improves sight in macular degeneration

October 14, 2013

Oral pazopanib (Glaxo’s kidney cancer drug Votrient) is well tolerated and improves mean best-corrected visual acuity, central retinal lesion thickness, and central retinal thickness at day 29 in a small, per-protocol, non-rescued population of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study published online Oct. 10 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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Blindness Awareness Month

October 13, 2013

October is Blindness Awareness Month.


There are over 600,000 visually impaired children (50,000 of them are blind) in the USA. Help us bring Mind Theater productions to as many of them as possible.

You can sponsor a free download here:


Adapting to Visual Impairment: Learning to See through Visually Impaired Eyes

October 8, 2013
Join Enhanced Vision onTuesday, October 29
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
A Visual Impairment Diagnosis is not the end of your Visual Independence. Please join Dr. Kevin Huff as he discusses Learning to See through Visually Impaired Eyes.

Electronic magnifiers have helped thousands of people with Macular Degeneration and other Low Vision conditions regain their visual independence. To find out if Electronic Magnification is right for you; please join us for this informative session.

Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Time: 12:00 Eastern, 11:00 am Central, 10:00 am Mountain, 9:00 am Pacific

Title: Adapting to Visual Impairment: Learning to See through Visually Impaired Eyes
Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Time: 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PDT
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