Skip Navigation
 Medical University  |  MUSC Hospital Directory  |  A-Z Index

MUSC logo   Research News
Luis Study 
Advancements in Cataract Surgery

Wilson Study
Link between Cataracts, Diabetes

Adult Macular Degeneration
Adult Macular Degeneration

Finding a Treatment for Human Blindness

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness for Americans 60 years of age and older. As many as 9 million may suffer from AMD, and 1.8 million individuals already experience severe loss of vision. The incidence increases with age; and as the population ages, the prevalence of AMD will continue to grow. The early stages of AMD (drusen) can be readily detected, and if a patient develops severe AMD in one eye, there is a very high probability that a similar loss of vision will occur in the other eye. Therefore, if effective treatments were available, identification of the disease at a stage when therapy might still have a significant impact is certainly possible.

In the MUSC laboratory of Dr. Bärbel (Barb) Rohrer, researchers are studying new treatments for this important disorder by trying to modify the inflammatory pathways that are part of the disease.  In particular, a chemical component of inflammation called “complement” may play a key role in macular degeneration.  Genetic variations in a number of factors of the complement cascade are associated with increased risk of AMD. By blocking the activation of complement, it may be possible to slow the progression of the illness.  This research will use a mouse model of wet  macular degeneration and will hopefully be an important step forward in finding a treatment for human blindness.  The recently patented compound that inhibits complement was a collaboration between the laboratories of Drs. Rohrer, Stephen Tomlinson, and Gary Gilkeson.

Preliminary data suggests that this approach can be successful and that without early treatment of this type, AMD will continue to progress in affected patients.

Bärbel (Barb) Rohrer, Ph.D. is Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Neurosciences, Division of Research, in the College of Medicine at MUSC

Archives:

- The Copper Touch Surface Program

-
SCRA MUSC Innovation Center Opens

-Dream Team Takes Top Rankings at International Bioinformatics Competition

-ARRA NIH Grants to MUSC Total $28.7M

- Research News: SC Clinical and Transitional Research Institute



More Information:
- Medical University
- Research at MUSC
- Patient Info