Dr Carlos Mateo on new treatments for wet AMD: "Not only do patients stop losing their vision, in many cases, it is improved"

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in patients over the age of 60.

Nuevos tratamientos para la DMAE. Dr. Mateo de IMO Barcelona

AMD has two forms. The first is dry and consists of progressive atrophy of the pigment epithelium and the retina. A considerable amount of research has gone into reducing the development of this form of AMD and the atrophy it causes at the back of the retina.

The other is the wet form, characterised by the appearance of abnormal fluid-leaking blood vessels, located just beneath the retina, that cause serous detachment of the retina, which is different to retinal detachment. This results in patients losing their central vision, when it is obstructed, by the appearance of a black spot.

AMD treatment

For the best results, it is important for treatment to start immediately after the disorder has been detected to ensure that macular membrane growth is stopped. In the wet form of AMD, treatment by means of injection is currently achieving very good results: patients stop losing their vision, and, in many cases, it is even improved.

The problem with this treatment, however, is that it is long-term, as it needs to continue being administered in case the disorder returns. The solution for the future is undoubtedly the development of drugs that can stay within the vitreous cavity for long periods, meaning that patients do not need to visit the doctor every month or two to check if the vascular processes that cause AMD have reappeared. This treatment would enable the patient to become less dependent and require fewer of the current monthly or bimonthly intraocular injections, as well as reducing the number of check-ups to one or two per year.

With respect to the dry form, which currently has no treatment, IMO participates in international studies, whose aim is to discover a way of significantly reducing the development of the disorder by preventing the loss of photoreceptors or even, within a few years, transplanting some of these cells to enable the retina to reactivate and prevent the loss of central vision.

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