According to a study that appears in the November 2006 issue of the journal Ophthalmology, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and 21 other clinical centers have found that low-intensity laser treatment - thought to be potentially beneficial in slowing or preventing the loss of vision from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) - is ineffective in preventing complications of AMD or vision loss. This is the major conclusion of the Complications of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Prevention Trial (CAPT) -a research study supported by grants from the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
According to the NEI, AMD is a disease associated with aging that gradually destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving. People with early AMD have drusen - yellow deposits under the retina. The presence of drusen is the first sign of early AMD, and eyes with large drusen are at an increased risk of progressing to advanced AMD, with accompanying loss of vision.
"For the past 35 years, ophthalmologists have wondered about the advisability of employing preventive laser treatment for patients with large drusen who are at a high risk for vision loss and AMD," said Stuart L. Fine, MD, CAPT chairman and chair, Penn's Department of Ophthalmology; Director, Scheie Eye Institute. "We found that laser treatment had neither a clinically significant beneficial nor harmful effect for these patients. There is no evidence from this trial to suggest that people with large drusen should seek preventive laser treatment."
This was the first large-scale, multicenter study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of this technique. The study followed 1,042 participants over the age of 50 (average age of 71) who had 10 or more large drusen and visual acuity of 20/40 or better in each eye. One eye of each participant was treated, while the other eye was observed throughout the five years of the trial. After five years, 20.5% of the treated eyes and 20.5% of the untreated eyes had lost three or more lines of visual acuity on a standard eye chart.
Currently, the only established way to decrease the risk of vision loss in people with large drusen is daily supplements of vitamins and minerals. The NEI-sponsored Age-Related Eye Diseases Study (AREDS) reported in 2001 that a formulation which includes anti-oxidant vitamins (beta-carotene, Vitamin C and Vitamin E) and appropriate doses of zinc and copper could reduce the relative risk of progression from early to late AMD by 25% and reduce the relative risk of vision loss by 19%. The NEI recently launched AREDS2 to see if a modified combination of vitamins, minerals, and fish oil can further slow the progression of vision loss for AMD.
Kate Olderman | EurekAlert!
Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine
14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2017 | Life Sciences