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NEWS
April 28, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey
The cancer drug Avastin may work just as effectively as the more expensive Lucentis at treating age-related macular degeneration, new research suggests. But the potential side effects bear watching.    The early results of a clinical trial comparing the two drugs was published online Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine , slightly ahead of schedule.   Avastin  doesn’t have FDA approval to treat AMD -- it’s approved to prevent the growth of blood vessels that fuel tumors.
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NEWS
May 7, 2012
It sounds too good to be true, but a Chicago doctor is reporting that a drug-like dietary supplement, or nutriceutical, called Longevinex -- which contains the purported anti-aging chemical resveratrol -- may control or even reverse the symptoms of wet macular degeneration, a severe form of visual impairment. If the results prove to hold up, the treatment would have a great advantage over existing ones, which require injection of chemicals directly into the eye. Longevinex, in contrast, can be taken orally.
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HEALTH
January 10, 2011 | Jill U. Adams
About 10 million Americans suffer some degree of vision loss caused by age-related macular degeneration, and that figure is expected to grow as more baby boomers become senior citizens. There is no cure for the disease, but last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave a green light to an unusual clinical trial that seeks to restore patients' sight by employing human embryonic stem cells. None of the stem cells will be injected into patients; instead, they are grown into another kind of cell that will be delivered to the back of the eye, where the retina is damaged by the disease.
NEWS
February 20, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
British actress Judi Dench is seeking to downplay fears over the revelation that she is suffering from a degenerative eye condition. The Oscar-winning Dench, perhaps best known as James Bond's mysterious boss M, has been dealing with two different forms of macular generation -- one in each eye. According to Reuters, she can no longer read scripts and has to have someone read them out loud to her, "like reading me a story. " According to the National Eye Institute, macular degeneration occurs in an area known as the macula, which sits at the center of the light-sensitive tissue known as the retina, located at the back of the eye socket.
SCIENCE
April 28, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
For the first time in a quarter of a century, researchers have identified a new treatment for diabetic macular edema, a potentially blinding disorder that affects about 1 million Americans, researchers said Tuesday. The treatment uses a drug called ranibizumab, which when administered in combination with laser phototherapy is twice as effective at reversing vision loss as laser therapy alone. Laser therapy to prevent leakage of blood vessels in the retina has been the gold standard since it was introduced in 1985.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 15, 2010 | By Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times
The first-of-its kind stem cell research facility opened Friday at UC Irvine, with leading scientists and state officials on hand to do the honors. UC Irvine's Sue and Bill Gross Hall: A California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is the first of seven such facilities the state agency plans to open for stem cell research at California universities. The statewide regenerative medicine agency was created after passage of Proposition 71 in 2004 by 59% of voters, who supported new funding sources for stem cell research after then-President George W. Bush banned federal funding to develop new stem cell lines.
HEALTH
June 21, 1999
Thank you for informing the public about macular degeneration ("Talking About Degeneration," June 7), the leading cause of vision loss in older adults. The Center for the Partially Sighted is one of the local agencies addressing this issue. We would like to offer a few additional points about macular degeneration: Smoking and exposure to sunlight have been found to increase the risk; diets rich in leafy green and most colorful vegetables and fruits may be helpful in reducing the risk of developing macular degeneration.
NEWS
July 14, 2011 | By Daniela Hernandez, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
After more than 20 years of research, doctors at UCLA's Jules Stein Eye Institute have begun treating the first patients in clinical trials for two progressive eye diseases that cause blindness: dry age-related macular degeration and Stargardt's macular dystrophy. For the Record, 12:27 p.m. July 26: An earlier version of this post had an incorrect age for the patient with Stargardt's macular degeneration. She is actually older, according to UCLA officials, though they declined to give her exact age. Also, in the original post Stargardt's was misspelled once as Stardgart's.
NEWS
January 3, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
A therapy derived from human embryonic stem cells may help millions of Americans battle a common form of blindness. Advanced Cell Technology Inc. said Monday that it has received a green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin a clinical trial to test its therapeutic cells as a treatment for dry age-related macular degeneration. The company plans to enroll a dozen patients in a Phase I/II trial, which would primarily test the safety of the cells and whether they are well-tolerated by patients.
NEWS
February 20, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
British actress Judi Dench is seeking to downplay fears over the revelation that she is suffering from a degenerative eye condition. The Oscar-winning Dench, perhaps best known as James Bond's mysterious boss M, has been dealing with two different forms of macular generation -- one in each eye. According to Reuters, she can no longer read scripts and has to have someone read them out loud to her, "like reading me a story. " According to the National Eye Institute, macular degeneration occurs in an area known as the macula, which sits at the center of the light-sensitive tissue known as the retina, located at the back of the eye socket.
NEWS
July 14, 2011 | By Daniela Hernandez, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
After more than 20 years of research, doctors at UCLA's Jules Stein Eye Institute have begun treating the first patients in clinical trials for two progressive eye diseases that cause blindness: dry age-related macular degeration and Stargardt's macular dystrophy. For the Record, 12:27 p.m. July 26: An earlier version of this post had an incorrect age for the patient with Stargardt's macular degeneration. She is actually older, according to UCLA officials, though they declined to give her exact age. Also, in the original post Stargardt's was misspelled once as Stardgart's.
NEWS
April 28, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey
The cancer drug Avastin may work just as effectively as the more expensive Lucentis at treating age-related macular degeneration, new research suggests. But the potential side effects bear watching.    The early results of a clinical trial comparing the two drugs was published online Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine , slightly ahead of schedule.   Avastin  doesn’t have FDA approval to treat AMD -- it’s approved to prevent the growth of blood vessels that fuel tumors.
HEALTH
January 10, 2011 | Jill U. Adams
About 10 million Americans suffer some degree of vision loss caused by age-related macular degeneration, and that figure is expected to grow as more baby boomers become senior citizens. There is no cure for the disease, but last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave a green light to an unusual clinical trial that seeks to restore patients' sight by employing human embryonic stem cells. None of the stem cells will be injected into patients; instead, they are grown into another kind of cell that will be delivered to the back of the eye, where the retina is damaged by the disease.
NEWS
January 3, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
A therapy derived from human embryonic stem cells may help millions of Americans battle a common form of blindness. Advanced Cell Technology Inc. said Monday that it has received a green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin a clinical trial to test its therapeutic cells as a treatment for dry age-related macular degeneration. The company plans to enroll a dozen patients in a Phase I/II trial, which would primarily test the safety of the cells and whether they are well-tolerated by patients.
NEWS
December 2, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in high concentrations in the retina of the eye, leading to speculation that adequate levels of the substance may be important in preventing some diseases of the eye. Animal studies also suggest that omega-3s, found mostly in seafood, protect against eye diseases. A new study adds more evidence, finding that people who consume a lot of fish and shellfish have lower rates of age-related macular degeneration. The condition is the most common cause of blindness in the United States.
NEWS
October 1, 2010
Avastin, the anti-cancer drug already widely used off-label by physicians to treat the wet form of age-related macular degeneration, is as effective as Lucentis, the gold standard for treatment of the disorder, researchers said Friday. The first head-to-head study of the two drugs could be a step toward Food and Drug Administration approval to market Avastin for macular degeneration, which would lead more insurance companies to reimburse patients for its use. Potentially more important, Avastin is much cheaper than Lucentis -- costing about $50 per injection compared with $2,000 per injecton for Lucentis.
HEALTH
June 10, 2002
Trudy Lieberman's excellent article regarding photodynamic therapy for macular degeneration ("Medicare Warily Eyes Treatment for Macular Degeneration," May 20) again drives home the point that Medicare is a "zero sum" program. It promises virtually unlimited care for any disease to all Americans by virtue of their attaining a certain age. Yet it only has so much money to dole out each year, and that money is going to be divvied up among the various providers. The only way they have been able to balance their budget is to price-control the providers and stifle new technology.
NEWS
January 10, 1985 | SUSAN PETERSON, Scripps-Howard News Service
An estimated 10 million Americans, most of them elderly, suffer from macular degeneration of the eye, a disorder that robs them of fine vision for reading. Usually their only recourse is to use powerful magnification devices. Nothing can be done to stop macular degeneration, the loss of cells at the center of the retina that give one the ability to see close objects and read print, ophthalmologists say. "You can't repair it," said Dr. Leon Lane.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 15, 2010 | By Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times
The first-of-its kind stem cell research facility opened Friday at UC Irvine, with leading scientists and state officials on hand to do the honors. UC Irvine's Sue and Bill Gross Hall: A California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is the first of seven such facilities the state agency plans to open for stem cell research at California universities. The statewide regenerative medicine agency was created after passage of Proposition 71 in 2004 by 59% of voters, who supported new funding sources for stem cell research after then-President George W. Bush banned federal funding to develop new stem cell lines.
SCIENCE
April 28, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
For the first time in a quarter of a century, researchers have identified a new treatment for diabetic macular edema, a potentially blinding disorder that affects about 1 million Americans, researchers said Tuesday. The treatment uses a drug called ranibizumab, which when administered in combination with laser phototherapy is twice as effective at reversing vision loss as laser therapy alone. Laser therapy to prevent leakage of blood vessels in the retina has been the gold standard since it was introduced in 1985.
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