A new Swedish discovery provide cure for common eye disease
Sunday, 26 May 2013
Swedish and Dutch researchers have found a change in a particular
gene that may be an important contributor to the common and
debilitating eye disease AMD, age-related macular degeneration. This is
being hailed as a new route to curing eye problems associated with age.
The disease is described as that which, in most cases, have not been
able to be treated, but scientists have found that there are already
drugs for other diseases which are now being tested in patients with
AMD, reports radio Sweden
Professor Anna Blom, Professor of Protein Chemistry at Lund University
and Wallenberg Laboratory in University Hospital in Malmö, speaking to
radio Sweden said that the drugs being tested might receive approval
within five years.
"The essentials of this discovery is that there are inhibitors that can interfere with this system," she says.
Today there are in most cases no viable treatments for age-related
macular degeneration, a disease called AMD. It affects 5,000 Swedes
For Anna Blom, it hopes therefore make use of already existing drugs,
called complement inhibitors, which are used for other diseases, but
tested in patients with AMD.
It requires, however, that the clinical trials will start well before the drugs are approved for the treatment of eye disease.
"If the companies that are producing these complement inhibitors would
prioritize this disease, which I believe they will do because it is a
large and important disease, then you can actually get permission to
deal with it in five years. Normally we talk about ten to fifteen years
from initial detection to treatment," says Anna Blom.
Ten percent of all aged over 75 have vision problems caused by AMD,
namely age-related macular degeneration. The culprit is believed that
part of the body's immune system.
That part is called the complement system and acts partly as body cleaning patrol removing waste products and dead cells.
However, the complement system can sometimes become overzealous in
its cleaning activity and it start causing inflammation that makes
tissues dies - and that's what is thought happens in the eyes of those
affected with AMD.
The discovery of the change in the so-called complementary gene has
been made in collaboration with Dutch researchers. Since the eye
disease is largely hereditary, there is now a continuing pursuit of
further so-called gene mutations suspected to be contributing to the
"Since we are living much longer, it very important to focus on the
diseases that affect the elderly, we actually want to have good quality
of life even at the end," says Anna Blom to radio Sweden.
By Scancomark.com Team