Article Abstract

Age related macular degeneration: from evidence based-care to experimental models

Authors: Timothy W. Olsen


To describe the current aging population in China and globally, especially as it applies to age- related macular degeneration (AMD). To review the current standards of care for treating both wet (exudative) eAMD and dry (atrophic) aAMD. And to introduce a model for experimentation that is based on the Age- Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) using eye bank tissue. A literature search that outlines current aging populations, standards of clinical treatment as de ned by large, multicenter, randomized clinical trials that present level-I data with a low risk for bias. An experimental model system of AMD is presented that enables scienti c analysis of AMD pathogenesis by applying grading criteria from the AREDS to human eye bank eyes. Analysis includes proteomic, cellular, and functional genomics. The standard of care for the treatment of eAMD is currently defined by the use of several anti-vascular endothelial growth (anti-VEGF) agents alone or in combination with photodynamic therapy. Monotherapy treatment intervals may be monthly, as needed, or by using a treat-and-extend (TAE) protocol. There are no proven therapies for aAMD. AMD that is phenotypically de ned at AREDS level 3, should be managed with the use of anti-oxidant vitamins, lutein/ zeaxanthin and zinc (AREDS-2 formulation). By understanding the multiple etiologies in the pathogenesis of AMD (i.e., oxidative stress, in ammation, and genetics), the use of human eye bank tissues graded according to the Minnesota Grading System (MGS) will enable future insights into the pathogenesis of AMD. Initial AMD management is with lifestyle modi cation such as avoiding smoking, eating a healthy diet and using appropriate vitamin supplements (AREDS-2). For eAMD, anti-VEGF therapies using either pro re nata (PRN) or TAE protocols are recommended, with photodynamic therapy in appropriate cases. New cellular information will direct future, potential therapies and these will originate from experimental models, such as the proposed eye bank model using the MGS, that leverages the prospective AREDS database.


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