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Optom Vis Sci. 2014 Aug;91(8):878-86. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000000322.

Studying age-related macular degeneration using animal models.

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*MScOptom, PhD †PhD ‡BSc(Hons) §MOptom, PhD Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia (all authors).


Over the recent years, there have been tremendous advances in our understanding of the genetic and environmental factors associated with the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Examination of retinal changes in various animals has aided our understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease. Notably, mouse strains, carrying genetic anomalies similar to those affecting humans, have provided a foundation for understanding how various genetic risk factors affect retinal integrity. However, to date, no single mouse strain that develops all the features of AMD in a progressive age-related manner has been identified. In addition, a mutation present in some background strains has clouded the interpretation of retinal phenotypes in many mouse strains. The aim of this perspective was to describe how animals can be used to understand the significance of each sign of AMD, as well as key genetic risk factors.

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