Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has multiple stages of progression. The “dry” form is characterized by yellow deposits called drusen, that grow in size and number, leading to dimmed or distorted vision. There are currently no treatments for dry AMD. When AMD progresses to neovascular AMD, commonly known as “wet” AMD, abnormalities cause new blood vessels to develop uncontrollably which eventually leads to severe vision loss. Treatment options for wet AMD can be expensive, uncomfortable, and require multiple doctor visits.
In the Molecular Ophthalmology Lab at the Retina Foundation of the Southwest, research is ongoing for developing a more efficient drug treatment option for both dry and wet AMD. Our researchers are utilizing a device, in combination with promising therapeutic drugs, to deliver drug treatment in a consistent and controlled manner. The device will release drug that will penetrate into the eye and the retina. This would potentially provide a more patient-friendly treatment option for AMD.
Dr. Karl Csaky’s laboratory team work on varying aspects of the device and therapeutic drugs. Tim Nguyen, Research Assistant, is responsible for measuring how the device releases various dyes. Tim’s work provides us with the information needed to model the amount of therapeutic drug that may be delivered to the eye. This groundwork is critical to ensure a patient is receiving the exact amount necessary for their drug therapy once it is available to prescribing ophthalmologists.