A potential new drug treatment for Macular Degeneration is being tested for patients suffering from dry macular degeneration. The drug, Glatirmar is hoped to have long-term benefits for patients for those suffering from the degenerative eye disease.
Until now there was no drug treatment available for dry AMD. However, glatiramer has been shown to improve the retinal sensitivity and reduce other symptoms associated with dry macular degeneration. This drug is approved for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis.
This drug acts on what is known as microglial cells which appear to be the only cells with bodies located in the inner plexiform layer. When tese cells encounter aggregated beta-amyloid, they lose their ability to remove these aggregates. The research being conducted into dry macular degeneration is testing whether these drugs could shape the microglia in macular degeneration and reduce the symptoms of this eye disease.
The study being conducted saw 18 patients having glatiramer being injected into the eyes affected by dry macular degeneration. Control patients from this group were also injected with a sham drug. At 6 weeks, the patients who had received glatiramer had shown improvement in their retinal sensitivity while those who had received the sham injections did not.
Improvements continued in those macular degeneration patients receiving glatirmer but researchers were quick to point out that the results were too modest to draw any conclusions. They did indicate that more research was warranted and that it was worth warranted continued investigation.
This may be a major advancement in treating dry macular degeneration and could potentially result in new drug treatments where there were previously no treatments.