Throwing A "Wet" Blanket, Article, Community Advocate, May 24, 2009
THROWING A “WET” BLANKET
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the part of the eye needed for central vision and is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 60. While the “dry” form of AMD is vastly more common, “wet” (or neovascular) AMD accounts for 10% of cases but causes 90% of AMD-related vision loss. As abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina, they leak blood and fluid and cause scar tissue that can result in sudden and severe vision loss. Until recently, most people with wet AMD had two options: photocoagulation or photodynamic therapy. Now there is a third. The FDA has approved pegaptanib, which is an aptamer, a drug that blocks the action of a substance that stimulates the formation of new blood vessels.
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P.S. According to a large clinical trial, treatment with pegaptanib significantly reduced the progression of vision loss in those with moderate to severe “wet” AMD one year after treatment.