For right now, all the treatments are focused on stopping these abnormal blood vessels from growing.In the old days, before we had the injections that we talk about now, and the medications, we used to try to use laser to essentially cauterize these abnormal vessels, kind of like using a flame thrower to destroy the weeds in your driveway, but obviously we’ve come a long way.MICHAEL GORIN: First of all, the only basic treatment that we have for age-related macular degeneration itself are the AREDS supplements—these are the vitamin and nutrient supplements that were tested by the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) that was funded by the National Eye Institute. Those supplements are the only thing that we know of right now that can slow, but not stop, the progression of underlining age-related macular degeneration.There are companies working on therapies to try to get at the fundamental processes that go on, but there’s nothing really out there yet. Turning to wet macular degeneration, again, all of the treatments are designed to prevent the growth and leakage of the abnormal blood vessels in or under the retina.We receive lots of questions about what are the current treatment options, about the progression from dry to wet macular degeneration, and about predicting the future of our own health as well as predicting the future of what’s coming down the pipes in terms of research.We are tremendously happy to see you back and we hope we will bring your understanding of the disease to everyone who is listening.GUY EAKIN: I thank you for joining us, and before we get on the call, I’d like to mention that if you have any questions you’d like to ask Dr.Gorin, just press *3 to submit your question to an operator, and if for any reason you’re disconnected from the call there is a number to call back in: that number is 877-229-8493 and you’ll be asked to punch in an ID code, that would be 112435.
So, wet macular degeneration treatments at this stage are really focused on trying to prevent the ongoing growth and leakage of these abnormal blood vessels.
This material is actually sort of an inflammatory focus, a little bit like having an athermanous plaque in a blood vessel.
So, over time, what happens is that there is cumulative damage that occurs, and for some people their macular degeneration may simply be the accumulation of more of these deposits and damage, and that’s all they go to.
Again, that ID code is 112435 and the phone number is 877-229-8493. Gorin—as you probably recalled, we host these chats on a monthly basis and the topics vary.
We will cover clinical topics like we are today, as well as chats about research and living with low vision, but no matter the topic, we always receive questions about today’s topic, which is wet macular degeneration.
And that’s called atrophic, or advanced dry macular degeneration.