People who have age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are dealing with a lot of issues. Losing vision, having wet AMD and needing to get repeated injections into the eye - or having dry AMD and not have any treatment at all available. No wonder patients can be discouraged.
One of the most important things the Macular Degeneration Partnership gives them is hope. Our monthly email newsletter reports on all the latest scientific research and clinical trials for both kinds of AMD.
It's been a remarkable few months in the research community, with multiple clinical trials for age-related macular degeneration. Upcoming treatments include some for dry AMD, which currently has NO treatment, improvements to wet AMD treatments and restoration of vision for the blind.
The stem-cell therapy by Advanced Cell Technologies (ACT) is continuing in clinical trial at a nice pace. So far, there are 4 trial centers, each recruiting groups of patients with age-related macular degeneration or Stargardts (a juvenile form of macular degeneration). The first groups received 50,000 stem-cell derived retinal cells, but we're already into the second groups, which are getting 100,000 cells. So far, everyone is doing well, there are no significant complications and some people report improvement in vision. It's still too early to tell if this therapy will prove successful, but we're well on our way!
In the meantime, the Macular Degeneration Partnership encourages people to eat a healthy diet of vegetables, fruit, fish and whole grains, wear sunglasses, get some exercise - and stop smoking. All these steps can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
In September, the Partnership will have a booth at the AARP Life@50+ Event, where we will screen seniors for AMD, give them information and Amsler Grids, and answer their vision questions. If you are going, stop by and say hello. Mention Global Giving and we will give you a special gift.
We'll be using the AARP meeting to kick off International AMD Week 2012. Watch for more information on this global campaign.