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Macular Degeneration

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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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ENTERTAINMENT
May 4, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Harper Lee, the 87-year-old author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," has filed suit against her literary agent over the rights to her classic novel. The suit alleges that the agent took advantage of Lee's age and infirmity when she assigned the copyright to him six years ago. In 2007, Lee was living in an assisted living facility and had recently suffered a stroke when she signed over the rights of "To Kill a Mockingbird" to her agent, Samuel Pinkus, and his agency Keystone Literary.
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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.
OPINION
March 29, 2013 | By Art Kellermann
Now that the budget "sequester" is in effect, Congress is shifting its attention to entitlement reform. There's simply no way to achieve long-term reductions in federal spending without touching the big health programs, particularly Medicare. Although raising the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67 appears off the table, at least for now, the budget plan that Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) is proposing would shift a greater share of the program's growing costs to beneficiaries in the years to come.
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.
HEALTH
May 20, 2002 | TRUDY LIEBERMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Two-thirds of all Americans have never heard of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in Americans over age 65. As we live longer, however, chances are that some of us will learn firsthand about this incurable eye disease that robs people of their central vision. So when a new experimental treatment came along that promised to stop vision loss, it was no surprise that many doctors and patient advocates began to clamor that the therapy be covered by health insurance programs.
HEALTH
May 14, 2007 | Chris Woolston, Special to The Times
The product: Eye supplements are a hot topic of conversation in Kerry Beebe's optometry office in Brainerd, Minn., right up there with the weather and Frances McDormand trivia. "We field questions about vitamins multiple times a day," says Beebe, chairman of the Clinical Care Group for the American Optometric Assn. Patients mainly want to know if vitamins can help save them from macular degeneration, the leading cause of severe vision loss in America.
NEWS
October 12, 2001 | THOMAS H. MAUGH II, TIMES MEDICAL WRITER
Researchers have discovered the first effective treatment for age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people older than 50. Until now, there has been no effective therapy for the disorder, which affects at least 6 million Americans and causes visual impairment in nearly a third of them.
HEALTH
June 29, 1998 | JONATHAN BOR, THE BALTIMORE SUN
Surgeons at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute say they have restored functional vision to several patients who were losing their sight to macular degeneration. The restoration was so dramatic in some cases that people could once again read and drive. The procedure does not work for everyone and is suitable only for people whose vision has just begun to fade.
HEALTH
July 15, 2002 | LINDA MARSA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Lowering some recently raised expectations, a new study has found that megadoses of vitamin E don't prevent macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in Americans older than 55.
NEWS
March 21, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
A compounding company in Augusta, Ga., has recalled syringes of the cancer drug Avastin it supplied over five months to physicians treating vision problems after the Food and Drug Administration received word that five patients who received the compounded medication came down with eye infections that could leave them blind. The FDA announced the recall Thursday after regulators conducted a preliminary inspection of Clinical Specialties Compounding Pharmacy and found "practices at the site that raise concerns about a lack of sterility assurance.
NEWS
February 14, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
The FDA on Thursday approved a bionic eye that improves vision for patients blinded by a rare eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa. The Argus II system , a video camera and transmitter mounted on eyeglasses, translates light and movement into electrical signals, which are sent directly to an array of electrodes implanted into a patient's retina. Clinical trials have demonstrated that for patients whose retinal cells have been ravaged by the genetic condition, the visual prosthetic device helps restore the ability to perform many daily activities.
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.
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
January 23, 2012 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Two patients with vision problems who received injections of retinal cells made from human embryonic stem cells have seen marked improvement in their vision four months later, according to a preliminary study on the safety and efficacy of the pioneering treatment. The report , published online Monday in the journal Lancet, is the first to describe results of an actual treatment derived from human embryonic stem cells. The patients -- one with dry age-related macular degeneration and the other with a pediatric version of the disease called Stargardt's macular dystrophy -- were treated at UCLA over the summer.
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
February 14, 2000 | From Baltimore Sun
Macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in the elderly, appears to be yielding to new laser treatments that seal off destructive blood vessels behind the retina. Although doctors caution that the treatments do not offer a cure, they say the therapies have in many cases arrested the downward course of a disease that ordinarily robs people of their sight. Next month, the U.S.
HEALTH
February 7, 2005 | Jonathan Bor, Baltimore Sun
Suddenly, a perfectly straight telephone pole appears crooked. The yellow line down the middle of the road turns wavy. A soft, blurry spot appears in the middle of a friend's face. This is how age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in America, often manifests itself before widening its swath through a person's vision. For its victims, life is never the same.
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
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.
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