Macular Degeneration Research
Stem Cells to Genes


Macular degeneration research involves many aspects of this disease including prevention, treatment, nutrition, and ways to better utilize the vision one does have.

AMD Clinical Trials

macular degeneration research

Information on macular degeneration clinical trials are available at the National Institutes of Health website. It lists not only studies in the U.S. but internationally as well.

There are different phases of studies as well as strict criteria to be eligible to be in a macular degeneration study.

Learn more about how clinical trials work and if you may be eligible to be in one:

Macular Degeneration Clinical Trials

Retinal Implant

Macular degeneration research now includes several retinal implant studies. One of these retinal implants, the size of a child's fingernail, has been named the bionic retina. According to Ra'anan Gefen, Nano Retina Managing Director, "Unlike other retinal implants, the Nano-retina meets the three basic requirements for any mass-market solution: resolution, power supply and implantation simplicity. Nano Retina has addressed these three issues for the first time in one integrative product."

Find out what Dr. Gefen has to say about how this chip works, how it is implanted and what kind of vision improvement one could expect by going to:

Retinal Implant

Macular Pigment Research Center

A research center that focuses soley on the carotenoids that benefit the eye, lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin, is proving in clinical trials that the health of the macula pigment does indeed affect one's vision.

Known as the Macular Pigment Research Center located in Waterford, Ireland, a staff of scientists devote their attention to understanding the role of nutrition in building the macular pigment.

Patients from the center share their success stories in a recent documentary. Go here to watch it on-line:

Macular Pigment Density

Wet Macular Degeneration Research

macular degeneration research

Macular degeneration clinical trials for wet macular degeneration treatment involve many different treatment options. There are studies looking at new combinations of existing treatment - such as anti-VEGF injections and photodynamic therapy.

Other studies are looking at radiation therapy in conjunction with macular degeneration medication or injections. To see what's available for wet macular degeneration research click here:

Wet Macular Degeneration Clinical Trials

Dry Macular Degeneration Research

Dry AMD is the most common type of macular degeneration - up to 80-85% of patients have this form of macular degeneration. Dry AMD clinical trials are becoming more available as new treatments and earlier interventions are being researched.  Therapies are investigating ways to  prevent the progression of dry AMD into the more advanced geographic atrophy or from turning into wet AMD. 

Dry Macular Degeneration Clinical Trials

Gene Therapy for Macular Degeneration

macular degeneration research

Gene therapy to halt or slow the progression of macular degeneration is in research at several different eye centers. 

Research using gene therapy to treat neovascular or wet macular degeneration works by delivering a gene that inhibits blood vessel growth that leads to leaking blood vessels under the retina which distorts one's vision leading to several different types of vision changes including the loss of one's central or straight ahead vision.

Gene Therapy for Macular Degeneration

Combination Therapy Superior to Monotherapy

Combining anti-VEGF therapy with anti-PDGF provides synergistic properties in the treatment of wet macular degeneration in Phase II clinical trials.

Phase III clinical trials are now recruiting participants across the United States for those over the age of 50 and have not yet received any treatment in the study eye.

Find out more about this research here:

Lucentis and Fovista Combination Therapy

Regenerative Medicine

The controversy surrounding the destruction of an embryo to generate human embryonic stem cells has lead to what some call the new line of stem cells,  "ethical embryonic stem cells. " 

Thompson's research group discovered a method to convert adult human skin cells into cells that closely resemble human embryonic stem cells called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). His work can be found in  a 2007 issue of Science in an article titled "Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines Derived from Human Somatic Cells".  

CDI explains that, "iPS cells have the potential to differentiate into any of the 200+ cell types in the human body." In this case, the skin cells, now embryonic stem cells or iPS, are reprogrammed to become retinal pigment epithelial cells.   Find out more how this macular degeneration research is progressing here:

Regenerative Medicine

Research for both dry and wet forms of macular degeneration is progressing as ways to intervene earlier in the disease is helping to prevent vision loss and/or restore some central vision loss. 

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