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!
The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences