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Macular Degeneration

Researchers have identified a gene that causes age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Identification of the gene, reported today in the journal Science by researchers from Utah, Texas and Maryland, should eventually lead to the first treatments for the disorder, possibly including gene therapy, but it may produce more immediate benefits, experts said.
October 9, 1996 | From Associated Press
People who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day double their likelihood of developing the most common cause of blindness among older Americans, according to two new studies in today's Journal of the American Medical Assn. The more people smoke and the longer they smoke, the higher their risk of developing the usually untreatable malady, age-related macular degeneration, the research found.
October 16, 1995 | From Times staff and wire reports
A diet rich in saturated fat and cholesterol may increase the risk of one common cause of blindness, macular degeneration, while healthy eating appears to lower the risk of another, cataracts, a researcher from the University of Wisconsin Medical School found. The unhealthy diet was found to increase by 80% the risk of macular degeneration, a condition that affects about 25% of Americans over age 65 and is the most common cause of blindness in the elderly. In a separate study, the team found that people taking vitamin supplements had a 40% lower risk of cataracts and that those who ate more fiber in breads and cereals had less severe cataracts.
March 21, 1990 | From Associated Press
Margaret Waldron, 74 and legally blind, made holes-in-one on the same hole on consecutive days at Amelia Island Plantation, using the same iron and the same scarred golf ball. "It hasn't sunk in yet. If it happens as infrequently as my husband says, I'm going to go out and buy some lottery tickets," she said Tuesday. Waldron, who has only peripheral vision and relies upon her husband, Pete, to tell her direction and distance, mastered the Long Point Course's 87-yard No.
September 7, 1986
Dr. Bernard Simon, in response to a well-intentioned project, demeans the National Eye Care Project of the Academy of Ophthalmology (Letters in View, Aug. 6). This project is not simply a screening effort but has actually provided care for seniors with eye medical problems including cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. This care has been provided, and will continue to be provided, to those who have governmental or private insurance. It also is being provided without charge to seniors who do not have any insurance or Medicare coverage.
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.
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