Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): Current concepts in pathogenesis and prospects for treatment
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- Shin, O.R. & Kim, Y.H. Tissue Eng Regen Med (2013) 10: 164. doi:10.1007/s13770-012-0374-0
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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative disease of the eye that has been a subject of numerous studies in pathogenesis as well as clinical research in treatment owing to its notoriety as the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the elderly. Genetic studies have elucidated various pathways related to inflammation that contribute to AMD development such as those of the complement system, coagulation system, and the immune system. The current standard of treatment in AMD is inhibition of neovascularization using anti-vascular endothelial growth factor antibodies, which is effective in wet AMD. Furthermore, the absence of screening methods or preventive measures for AMD poses yet another challenge. Stem cell therapy now holds great promise for various diseases, and AMD may well be one of the earliest diseases such treatment modality may be employed, considering the unique characteristics of the eye as a localized and immune-privileged organ.