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Researchers at Case Western Reserve University Find that Age-Related Macular Degeneration Slowed by Drug “Candidate”

Posted Oct 19 2008 9:41am

Research results from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine show that the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is markedly slowed in new laboratory-engineered mice when they received treatments of retinylamine, a trial drug that has been tested in a medical school lab. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years of age and older.

The findings from the National Eye Institute-funded research are reported in the prestigious Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Led by postdoctoral researcher Akiko Maeda, an investigator in the lab of one of her co-authors, Krzysztof Palczewski, the findings provide evidence for biochemical change in the retina that resemble AMD. Palczewski is chair and the John H. Hord Professor of Pharmacology at the School of Medicine. While the drug itself was developed in Palczewski’s former lab at the University of Washington, it was brought to Case Western Reserve when he and his team of researchers, including Maeda, arrived here in 2005.

Palczewski says AMD currently isn’t usually treated until toward the end of the disease. However, with the discovery in his lab by Maeda and her research team, retinylamine can potentially prevent the rapid degeneration of the eye, slowing the rate of progression of AMD.

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