Doctors predict Wet Macular Degeneration

Doctors in California predict chances of dry AMD degenerating to wet AMD.

About 10 percent of patients diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration will develop the form of the disease that causes permanent blindness. There’s no definitive way to predict who will progress to that stage or when that would happen. But a team of Stanford doctors think they may have found a way.

They created an algorithm that predicted whether a particular patient would be likely to develop the form of the disease that causes blindness within less than a year, three years or up to five years. For those with macular degeneration to go blind, the disease has to advance from what is known as the “dry” form to the “wet” form. The sooner a doctor can notice changes, the better chance there is to save a patient’s vision.

“If I can pick it up faster, the patient will start (treatment) sooner and have better vision in the end,” said Dr. Ted Leng, assistant professor of ophthalmology at Stanford Univ. and co-author of the study. “When patients do get a diagnosis of macular degeneration, we’ll be able to give them more information with some degree of certainty, and that will be comforting.”

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