With 8 million people at high risk for advanced age-related macular degeneration, researchers from Harvard and Japan discovered that the experimental drug, endostatin, may be the cure. A research report published in the December 2007 issue of The FASEB Journal, describes how giving endostatin to mice significantly reduced or eliminated abnormal blood vessel growth within the eye, which is ultimately why the disease causes blindness.
“Our study provides intriguing findings that may lead to a better treatment of age-related macular degeneration,” said Alexander Marneros, the first author of the report, “but clinical studies in patients with age-related macular degeneration are still necessary.”
In this study, researchers describe testing the effects of endostatin on mice lacking this naturally occurring substance. The mice without endostatin were about three times more likely to develop advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than normal mice. Then the researchers administered endostatin to both sets of mice. In the mice lacking endostatin, the number of abnormal blood vessels that cause AMD were reduced to normal levels. In control mice with normal levels of endostatin, the number of abnormal blood vessels were practically undetectable.
“With Baby Boomers reaching advanced ages, new treatments are desperately needed to keep age-related macular degeneration from becoming a national epidemic,” said Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “This research provides hope for those at risk for blindness, and it gives everyone another glimpse of how investments in molecular biology will ultimately pay off in terms of new treatments and cures.”
AMD is a progressive disease that affects the part of the eye that allows people to see fine details. The disease gradually destroys sharp, central vision, and in advanced stages ultimately leads to total blindness. Abnormal blood vessel growth, also known as angiogenesis, is a hallmark of advanced AMD. These faulty blood vessels leak fluids and blood, causing catastrophic vision loss. As the name implies, risk for age-related macular degeneration increases with age, and 8 million people are considered to be at high risk for the disease. Of these individuals, approximately 1 to 1.3 million will develop advanced AMD within the next five years. Endostatin is an experimental drug, which is currently being tested to stop cancer in people by restricting the formation of abnormal blood vessels supply blood to tumors. Endostatin is a protein in collagen, and while collagen is used in a range of products for skin care to gelatin desserts, consumption or use of these products does not have any effect on tumors or AMD.
Weissmann added, “This research proves once and for all that endostatin functions as the body’s own natural inhibitor of new blood vessel growth as Judah Folkman of Harvard predicted.”
Cody Mooneyhan | EurekAlert!
The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope
23.10.2017 | University at Buffalo
Scientists track ovarian cancers to site of origin: Fallopian tubes
23.10.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
23.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
23.10.2017 | Life Sciences
23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine