Foundation for Saving Sight (FSS) is committed to providing the most accurate and up-to-date information for patients suffering from blinding eye diseases such as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Additionally, Foundation has made it possible for patients with AMD to have access to reliable and up-to-date products such as MacuSave that have been proven and are based on results from recent studies to preserve vision. In order to help research efforts to find cures for blinding eye diseases such as AMD, Foundation for Saving Sight will donate part of proceeds to field-relevant medical research.
Over the years, we have seen research opening exciting new doors in the treatment of blinding diseases. This is only the beginning! We look forward to bringing you future developments in visual health.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration, often called AMD or ARMD is a degenerative disease of the macula. The macula is the central portion of the retina. AMD can result in a loss of central vision. Although it rarely results in complete blindness, it leaves individuals with only the outermost, peripheral vision, leaving only dim images or a “black spot” at the center of vision.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of visual impairment among elderly individuals in the developed world. It is estimated that 1.75 million people in the United States suffer from advanced AMD, and 7.3 million people are affected with intermediate AMD. This poses a significant threat, as well as a major public health problem with a considerable economic and social impact.
May 5th, 2013 -- In 2006 the NEI launched AREDS2, a five-year study designed to test whether the original AREDS formulation could be improved by adding omega-3 fatty acids; adding Lutein and Zeaxanthin; removing beta-carotene; or reducing zinc. The study also examined how different combinations of the supplements performed.
More than 4,000 people, ages 50 to 85 years, who were at risk for advanced AMD participated in AREDS2 at 82 clinical sites across the country. Eye care professionals assessed risk of developing advanced AMD in these participants. In AREDS2, participants took one of four AREDS formulations daily for five years. In the first AREDS trial, participants with AMD who took the AREDS formulation were 25 percent less likely to progress to advanced AMD over the five-year study period, compared with participants who took a placebo. In AREDS2, there was no overall additional benefit from adding omega-3 fatty acids. Investigators found benefits from addition of Lutein and Zeaxanthin particularly in participants who can’t use beta-carotene and those with low Lutein and Zeaxanthin in their diets.
"When we looked at just those participants in the study who took an AREDS formulation with Lutein and Zeaxanthin but no beta-carotene, their risk of developing advanced AMD over the five years of the study was reduced by about 18 percent, compared with participants who took an AREDS formulation with beta-carotene but no Lutein or Zeaxanthin," said Emily Chew, M.D., deputy director of the NEI Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications and the NEI deputy clinical director. "Further analysis showed that participants with low dietary intake of Lutein and Zeaxanthin at the start of the study, but who took an AREDS formulation with Lutein and Zeaxanthin during the study, were about 25 percent less likely to develop advanced AMD compared with participants with similar dietary intake who did not take Lutein and Zeaxanthin."
The AREDS2 study results provide physicians and patients with new information about preventing vision loss from AMD. People over 60 years old should get a dilated eye exam at least once a year and should discuss with their eye care professional whether taking AREDS supplements is appropriate.
FDA Approves a new drug (Aflibercept) for treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Could this mean less frequent injections for patients with wet AMD?
November 18, 2011 — The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved aflibercept ophthalmic solution (Eylea, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc) for the treatment of neovascular ("wet") age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Aflibercept, an injectable drug, is a highly potent blocker of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and placental growth factor. VEGF's normal role is to trigger formation of new blood vessels supporting growth of bodily tissues, but in AMD it is also associated with the growth of abnormal new blood vessels in the eye that exhibit vascular permeability and lead to edema.
Aflibercept has the added advantage of protracted activity. It has been shown in most recent studies that the 2-mg dose, given every 8 weeks can produce equivalent results to ranibizumab dosed monthly and to the other aflibercept doses given more frequently. This exciting finding means the intervals between inections could potentially be stretched out to at least 8 weeks, and potentially longer, when using aflibercept.
CATT Study Finds No Difference Between Avastin and Lucentis in Stopping Progression of Wet Macular Degeneration.
April 2011: New England Journal of Medicine released the much anticipated one-year results of The Comparison of AMD Treatment Trials (CATT) Study evaluating the relative effectiveness of Avastin (Bevacizumab) versus Lucentis (Ranibizumab) in stopping the progression of wet AMD and improving vision. The study involved 1,185 patients being treated at 43 clinical centers in the United States. Patients were randomly assigned and treated with one of four regimens for a year. They received Lucentis monthly or as needed, or Avastin monthly or as needed. The results showed that Avastin and Lucentis were equally effective and safe to use. Further, the study showed that “as needed” dosing does nearly as well (2 letter difference) as monthly injections.