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Potential topical treatment for age-related macular degeneration identified

Washington, Oct 10 : A new study led by Indian origin researcher has identified a possible topical treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in a study of mice that shows promise for clinical use.


The findings by scientists from Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences are the first to report successful topical use of a compound capable of inhibiting symptoms associated with both dry AMD (the earlier form) and wet AMD (the rarer, later form) and could represent a breakthrough for treatment of these conditions.

The study led by Rajendra Kumar-Singh, Ph.D., reported that topical application of pyridoxalphosphate-6-azophenyl-2',4'-disulfonic acid, a compound called PPADS, inhibits damage to the tissues in the eye that impacts the individual's ability to see colour and fine detail, as well as reduces the growth of extraneous blood vessels in the back of the eye related to advanced AMD.

"An ideal therapy would be one that can be self-administered daily by patients. Further studies are needed to determine safety, dosage, and other factors before advancement of this therapy towards clinical trials, but our study suggests that there's significant promise for the development of self-administered topical treatments for age-related macular degeneration in humans," Singh said.

To test the effectiveness of a topical application of PPADS, the team of researchers induced the tissue damage and blood vessel growth characteristics of AMD in anesthetized mice. The topical treatment was then administered every 24 hours for three consecutive days. The researchers then examined the eye tissues one week later to assess for progression of the damage and blood vessel growth.

The study found that topical application of the PPADS compound works on two fronts. First, it stops the damage to eyes caused by pores formed in the membrane that leads to cell death within the eye by stopping an immune system process known as complement that is responsible for dry AMD.

Second, it prevents the formation of the blood vessels that can leak and damage the eye, a process associated with wet AMD.

The study is published in PLOS ONE.

--ANI (Posted on 11-10-2013)

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