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Macular Degeneration Treatment

Age related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of loss of vision in aging Caucasian Americans. It effects reading and driving vision and a person’s sense of independence. It effects one out of three people over the age of 75. That is about 10 million people. It is three times more common than glaucoma and perhaps thirty times more common than RP. Up to recently the dry form of this disorder has been untreatable.The good news is that our preliminary pilot study data indicate that age related macular degeneration can be stabilized and 9 out 10 patients it was reversed .

In ARMD, cells that help us see in the central part of the retina called the macular degenerate as one gets older. A variety of factors including genetic, dietary and environmental factors such as exposure to blue light are believed to be involved. There is no doubt that smoking has a significant impact on getting ARMD. Understanding the dietary factors are exciting (JAOA 1996, 67(1) 6-49). Not only because they help us understand the cause of the disease but because they can be part of the treatment   After eight treatments with MD-Amylox® 9 of 10 patients have responded positively.

There are 2 types of ARMD: dry and wet. The dry is more common and represents a slow degradation of central vision. The wet form is less common involving perhaps one in ten patients and may involve bleeding in the eye. Our research focused on the most common dry form, but may be helpful to those with the wet form as well.

At first there are few symptoms in ARMD. That is why it is important to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist yearly. As the disease develops, a patient may experience an inability to see objects clearly; might see distortions of images, such as lines that appear wavy or crooked; empty areas in the center of their vision; and even more subtle symptoms such as an inability to distinguish contrast, see well in the dark, or an ability to recover from glare. We have compiled tests that look for these signs of ARMD at its earliest stage when prevention and treatment are
possible.  Testing has begun and advanced cases with great success.

Our research on ARMD has been ongoing for over four years. We have been learning more and more about the disorder. Our most recent results although preliminary demonstrate that ARMD if caught early is preventable. Dietary factors can clearly make a difference.   They perform better on tests and in seven of eight cases we have documented partial or complete resolution of holes in vision (scotomas) or central distortion (metamorphopsia). There appears to be hope for treatment of this disorder and we must continue on in all aspects of research, both basic and clinical leading to the eradication of this disease.
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