Treatment for Depression and Vision Loss

With aging comes a host of associated problems. One of them is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the primary reason for vision loss among people older than 50. Progressive decline in vision can often leave the patient confused, and depression is a major risk in such cases.

In order to reduce this risk, a new study has suggested a novel intervention, which combines low vision therapy with psychological rehabilitation. The study, called Low Vision Depression Prevention Trial (VITAL), funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, estimates to cut the risk of depression by 50 percent.

“Our results emphasize the high risk of depression from AMD, and the benefits of multi-disciplinary treatment that bridges primary eye care, psychiatry, psychology, and rehabilitation,” said Dr. Barry Rovner, a professor of psychiatry and neurology at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. The findings have been published in the journal, Ophthalmology.

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