Treatment can improve vision in macular degeneration

Source: Erin Silversmith, Wikimedia
Macular degeneration is a form of age-related blindness. The "wet" form is caused by the growth of new blood vessels in the back of the eye. The new vessels swell and leak, leading to loss of central vision. VEGF-A (vascular endothelial growth factor-A) has been found to be a key player in the process of angiogenesis, which is necessary for the new vessel growth. Treatments for macular degeneration aim at inhibiting this molecule.

Read more about how VEGF-A inhibitors treat macular degeneration.

One such VEGF-A antagonist is Lucentis, and it is the only available treatment that has been shown to potentially restore vision. It halted the progression of blindness in 95 percent of patients in clinical trials, and improved vision in 40 percent. The drug contains an antibody fragment that binds VEGF-A to prevent it from acting on its receptor. The solution is injected directly into the eye. Read about Lucentis (ranibizumab injection).

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