Neurodegenerative Diseases pp 15-36
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the developed world. Despite recent advances in treatment, AMD causes considerable morbidity. For the non-ophthalmologist, a brief background on retinal structure is provided, followed by a description of the characteristic changes seen in AMD. Subsequently the typical clinical features of AMD are discussed with an outline of present management, followed by the current theories of AMD pathogenesis. The similarities between AMD and another neurodegenerative disease are then highlighted. Finally, we review the on-going clinical trials of potential treatments for the future. Since it is clear that multiple risk factors are involved in the pathogenesis of AMD, a multi-faceted approach will most likely be required in order to prevent further patients progressing to blindness as a result of this devastating condition.
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