HIV Drug May Treat Macular Degeneration

Researchers from the University of Kentucky in Lexington have found that a class of drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS could possibly be used as a treatment for age-related macular degeneration.

Dry macular degeneration accounts for approximately 90 percent of the diagnosed cases of the progressive eye disease and until now there have been no viable treatments for this version of AMD.   Several robust treatments exist for wet macular degeneration.

The study conducted tested the effect of NRTIs on dry macular degeneration in mice.  These drugs are most widely used for treating HIV/AIDS and are thought to be effective because they target an enzyme important for HIV replication.  In their study, researchers showed that several FDA-approved NRTIs stopped retinal degeneration.

A link to the press release can be found here –