October 1997

What Is the Future of Research in Age-Related Macular Disease?

Author Affiliations

London, England

Arch Ophthalmol. 1997;115(10):1311-1313. doi:10.1001/archopht.1997.01100160481017

Age-related macular disease (AMD) accounts for approximately 50% of all cases of registered blindness in England and Wales1; this high prevalence is likely to exist in all economically developed white communities.2-4 A recent analysis indicates that the prevalence seems to be increasing at a rate not fully explained by the increasing age of the population5; as a cause of visual loss, AMD is as common as diabetes and glaucoma during working life.5 Despite the early expectations,6-8 it is evident that the techniques of laser treatment will not have a major effect on blindness due to AMD.9-11 Other forms of treatment are under trial,12-18 but they may not be vastly more successful than photocoagulation. This requires that our knowledge of the behavior and pathogenesis of the disorder be reexamined in the hope that alternative approaches to management be identified.

There is good evidence of

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