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Saturday 30 August 2014

Trinity researchers move closer to uncovering cure for age-related blindness

Published 02/04/2014 | 22:50

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Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have made progress towards finding a preventative drug for the most common causes of blindness in older people.

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More than 70,000 people in Ireland suffer from Age-Related Macular Degeneration, a condition that can lead to an inability to carry out common tasks such as driving, watching TV and reading.

The research team has found that a molecule naturally occurring in our bodies can suppress the production of damaging blood cells in the eye that cause AMD.

AMD comes in two forms, dry and wet, with dry making up the vast majority of cases.

However, wet AMD is the cause of 90% of the blindness that follows the disease.  Currently treatment for wet AMD is only available for the later stages of the disease.

Results of subsequent trials on mice are published in this week's edition of the high-profile international journal Science Translational Medicine and researchers have cautioned that an approved and licensed treatment for AMD using the molecule is a long way off as clinical trials must first be undertaken in humans.

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