Experts say vision loss is primarily caused by age-related macular degeneration (AMD). That is why researchers are on the hunt for new treatment options that could reduce the number of cases of the condition.
AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels develop at the back of the eye. When these blood vessels start to leak fluid, it is known as wAMD. Currently, a team of researchers are conducting a clinical trial on a type of gene therapy that may reduce the number of injections patients have to take to heal from the condition.
Researchers are hoping that they can better treat people with wAMD if clinical trials prove successful. “There’s a tremendous treatment burden with respect to our patients with wAMD, [as] many require 10-plus injections per year for their lifetime in order to maintain vision,” study lead author Dr Szilárd Kiss, director of clinical research and chief of the retina service in the department of ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medical College, told a news portal.
Adding, “With this new in-office intravitreal gene therapy, there is potential for a ‘one-and-done’ approach that can not only completely alleviate that treatment burden, but perhaps result in improved visual outcomes."
Experts say many patients can find it difficult to commit to their treatment plan, which could make the condition worse. “We know from other work that’s been done that one of the biggest determinants of how well patients maintain their vision over the years is how often they receive medicine,” Dr. Sunir Garg, a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a professor of ophthalmology at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, told a news portal. Adding, "Not getting treatment as often as the eye would require, that’s a big cause for progressive vision loss over time."
“While the findings of the study are encouraging and provide hope for an improvement in the current ways to treat AMD further studies with many more patients are needed to confirm the results and prove that this therapy is safe," Dr. Matthew Gorski, an ophthalmologist at Northwell Health in New York, told a news portal.
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