OAK CREEK, WI, October 16, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Macular degeneration is an area in which ophthalmologist Dr. Jennifer Unger, Oak Creek eye doctor, has taken a particular interest. She is focused on the prevention and treatment of this debilitating disease. Advances in medical science have made it possible to slow the progression, but have not found a way to reverse it. A recent article
in Science Daily reveals that researchers may have found a more effective way of treating the disease.
An estimated 11 million Americans suffer from macular degeneration. This disease impacts a person's central vision and impairs their ability to see clearly. It often leads to difficulty with driving, reading, watching television, and other tasks. "When your central vision is compromised, it can have a significant impact on your daily life," says Dr. Jennifer Unger, Oak Creek eye doctor. "People can typically see the outline of objects, but they have difficulty seeing the details. It can even affect their ability to recognize the faces of others."
There are two forms of macular degeneration: dry and wet. All forms start out as dry, but without proper treatment they can progress to the wet form. While the dry form causes blurred vision and blind spots, the wet version can cause vision loss. Abnormal blood vessels form in the eye and leak fluid or blood. Previously, injection of the antibody anti-VEGF was the best available treatment. It is administered every four to eight weeks, and it works by targeting the growth factors that cause leady blood vessels.
This new treatment utilizes MDM2 inhibitors. "Our hope is that MDM2 inhibitors would reduce the treatment burden on both patients and physicians," says Sai Chavla, MD, senior study author, director of the Laboratory for Retinal Rehabilitation, and assistant professor of Ophthalmology and Cell Biology and Physiology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
MDM2 inhibitors "target the abnormal blood vessels themselves causing them to regress," notes the article.
Researchers have not yet tried this treatment on humans but have achieved positive results on their testing involving mice. They found that the drug activates the p53 protein and eliminates problematic blood vessels. Chavala explains, "p53 is a master regulator that determines if a cell lives or dies. By activating p53, we can initiate the cell death process in these abnormal blood vessels." This has the potential to provide longer lasting results
"This research holds a lot of potential for people who suffer from macular degeneration," says Oak Creek eye doctor Jennifer Unger. "There is clearly a lot more testing and research to do regarding its effectiveness and results, but it is a step in the right direction." Dr. Jennifer Unger, Oak Creek eye doctor, is eager to see how it performs in additional studies and what the future holds for macular degeneration treatment.
Oak Creek eye doctor Jennifer Unger is a board certified ophthalmologist at Unger Eye MD. She has nearly a decade of experience treating a wide variety of eye problems. She is committed to providing patients with personalized care and attention and ensuring that they have the information necessary to feel empowered over their eye health. Unger Eye MD offers an array of services ranging from general eye exams to more complex treatment and surgical procedures. Their motto is "Vision for Tomorrow," and they strive to stay on top of the latest developments and treatments in order to provide more comprehensive care.