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!
Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University
Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News