- Inserm says age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of visual impairment in people over 50.
- It is estimated that 12% of the population between the ages of 65 and 75 suffers from AMD, and this number is growing every day (National Union of Ophthalmologists in France).
This is the first: a New study of the New York Eye and Ear Clinic at Mount Sinai showed that two different types of deposits in the retina can contribute to the onset of early AMD, which can progress to advanced AMD and blindness.
AMD is an age-related visual impairment
The researchers said that these two diseases can be diagnosed, studied and treated separately with appropriate early intervention to prevent vision loss and other complications.
“LAge-related macular degeneration (AMD) is deterioration of part of the retina (macula), which can lead to loss of central vision. This multifactorial disease affects people over the age of 50. Although it is very debilitating, AMD never causes complete blindness because the peripheral part of the retina is still intact.“, according toinserm.
AMD forms with deposits in the retina, which contain cholesterol, known as drusen but also deposits called subretinal drusenoids (DDS).
Retinal light makes it possible to recognize the nature of the deposits
“An amazing fact is that the retina can generate fluorescent light, similar to the light of a light fixture, but a million times weaker. For the first time, we have been able to measure this faint light, called autofluorescence (AF), using ultrasensitive detectors of the Advanced AMD Study. We found that it was always brighter in patients with DDS as it was in patients with drusen when they reached advanced AMD, and that it came from a single diseased casteThe lead author, R. Theodore Smith, MD, professor of ophthalmology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
This finding provides conclusive evidence that two different disease processes are involved in AMD, one with darker fluorescence and drusen, and the other with lighter fluorescence and DDS.
AMD: Plaque handling is different
Drusen formation can be slowed down Appropriate vitamin supplements (beta-carotene, vitamins C, E, zinc) to prevent vision loss, but there is no known cure for DDS yet.
“It therefore becomes important to diagnose which form of AMD the patient is suffering from in order to treat and prevent the disease.R. Theodore Smith concludes.
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