Vision Research Labs Has Findings Published;
Potential Topical Treatment for Macular Degeneration

BOSTON, MA October 2013 – Colleagues in our Vision Research Lab have identified a possible topical treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in a study of mice that promise clinically. 

The research findings, published on October 9, 2013 in PLOS ONE, are the first to report successful topical use of a compound capable of inhibiting symptoms associated with both dry AMD (the earlier form) and wet AMD (the rarer, later form) and could represent a breakthrough for treatment of these conditions. AMD is among the leading causes of blindness among the elderly. Currently, there is no treatment of dry AMD, and wet AMD can only be treated with regular injections into the eye. 

The team of researchers from Tufts, led by Rajendra Kumar-Singh, along with Erion Lipo and Marco T. Birke, reported in their "proof of concept" study that topical application of pyridoxalphosphate-6-azophenyl-2',4'-disulfonic acid, a compound called PPADS, inhibits damage to the tissues in the eye that impacts the individual's ability to see color and fine detail, as well as reduces the growth  of extraneous blood vessels in hte back of the eye related to advanced AMD. 

The development of a topical eye-drop treatment that works in both dry and wet AMD could increase treatment adherence and reduce patient discomfort by reducing or removing the need for direct injections. 

To test the effectiveness of a topical application of PPADS, the team of researchers induced the tissue damage and blood vessel growth characteristics of AMD in anesthetized mice. The topical treatment was then administered every 24 hours for three consecutive days. The researchers then examined the eye tissues one week later to assess for progression of the damage and blood vessel growth. 

Research report in this publication was supported by The Ellison Foundation and the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers 1R01EY021805 and 5R01EY013837.


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