Ophthalmology

Artificial intelligence recognizes deteriorating photoreceptors

Software based on artificial intelligence (AI), which was developed by researchers at the Eye Clinic of the University Hospital Bonn, Stanford University and University of Utah, enables the precise assessment of the progression ...

Medical research

New treatment targets found for blinding retinal disease

When the eye isn't getting enough oxygen in the face of common conditions like premature birth or diabetes, it sets in motion a state of frenzied energy production that can ultimately result in blindness, and now scientists ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Ancient part of immune system may underpin severe COVID-19

One of the immune system's oldest branches, called complement, may be influencing the severity of COVID-19 disease, according to a new study from researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Ophthalmology

Combating drug resistance in age-related macular degeneration

An international team of researchers led by Baylor College of Medicine and Houston Methodist has discovered a strategy that can potentially address a major challenge to the current treatment for choroidal neovascularization ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Missed eye appointments may increase sight loss post-lockdown

The COVID-19 lockdown is threatening the sight of thousands of elderly people across the UK as eye clinics have reported more than a 70% reduction in new referrals and a high rate of missed appointments, finds a new study ...

Ophthalmology

Plastic membrane to treat age-related macular degeneration

A porous polymeric scaffold might be the answer to a sight problem that afflicts millions of older people every year, age-related macular degeneration. Researchers writing in the International Journal of Biomedical Engineering ...

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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a medical condition which usually affects older adults and results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the macula) because of damage to the retina. It occurs in “dry” and “wet” forms. It is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults (>50 years). Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life.

Starting from the inside of the eye and going towards the back, the three main layers at the back of the eye are the retina, which contains the nerves; the choroid, which contains the blood supply; and the sclera, which is the white of the eye.

The macula is the central area of the retina, which provides the most detailed central vision.

In the dry (nonexudative) form, cellular debris called drusen accumulate between the retina and the choroid, and the retina can become detached. In the wet (exudative) form, which is more severe, blood vessels grow up from the choroid behind the retina, and the retina can also become detached. It can be treated with laser coagulation, and with medication that stops and sometimes reverses the growth of blood vessels.

Although some macular dystrophies affecting younger individuals are sometimes referred to as macular degeneration, the term generally refers to age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD).

Age-related macular degeneration begins with characteristic yellow deposits (drusen) in the macula, between the retinal pigment epithelium and the underlying choroid. Most people with these early changes (referred to as age-related maculopathy) have good vision. People with drusen can go on to develop advanced AMD. The risk is considerably higher when the drusen are large and numerous and associated with disturbance in the pigmented cell layer under the macula. Recent research suggests that large and soft drusen are related to elevated cholesterol deposits and may respond to cholesterol-lowering agents.

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