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!
Inselspital: Fewer CT scans needed after cerebral bleeding
20.03.2019 | Universitätsspital Bern
Building blocks for new medications: the University of Graz is seeking a technology partner
19.03.2019 | Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.
The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...
New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum
For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...
11.03.2019 | Event News
01.03.2019 | Event News
28.02.2019 | Event News
21.03.2019 | Life Sciences
21.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
21.03.2019 | HANNOVER MESSE