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F1000Res. 2017 Mar 9;6:245. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.10664.1. eCollection 2017.

Recent advances in the management of dry age-related macular degeneration: A review.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University Vita-Salute, IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele, Milan, Italy.
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Verona, University hospital of Verona, Verona, Italy.


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most important cause of vision loss in elderly people, is a degenerative disorder of the central retina with a multifactorial etiopathology. AMD is classified in dry AMD (d-AMD) or neovascular AMD depending on the presence of choroidal neovascularization. Currently, no therapy is approved for geographic atrophy, the late form of d-AMD, because no treatment can restore the damage of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) or photoreceptors. For this reason, all treatment approaches in d-AMD are only likely to prevent and slow down the progression of existing atrophy. This review focuses on the management of d-AMD and especially on current data about potential targets for therapies evaluated in clinical trials. Numerous examinations are available in clinics to monitor morphological changes in the retina, RPE and choroid of d-AMD patients. Fundus autofluorescence and optical coherence tomography (OCT) are considered the most useful tools in the diagnosis and follow-up of d-AMD alterations, including the monitoring of atrophy area progression. Instead, OCT-angiography is a novel imaging tool that may add further information in patients affected by d-AMD. Several pathways, including oxidative stress, deposits of lipofuscin, chronic inflammation and choroidal blood flow insufficiency, seem to play an important role in the pathogenesis of d-AMD and represent possible targets for new therapies. A great number of treatments for d-AMD are under investigation with promising results in preliminary studies. However, only few of these drugs will enter the market, offering a therapeutic chance to patients affected by the dry form of AMD and help them to preserve a good visual acuity. Further studies with a long-term follow-up would be important to test the real safety and efficacy of drugs under investigation.


Age-related macular degeneration; Anti-inflammatory agents; Geographic atrophy; Lipofuscin; Neuroprotective therapy; Nutritional Supplements; Stem cell-based therapy; dry-AMD

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: Francesco Bandello is a consultant for: Alcon (Fort Worth, Texas, USA), Alimera Sciences (Alpharetta, Georgia, USA), Allergan Inc (Irvine, California, USA), Farmila-Thea (Clermont-Ferrand, France), Bayer Shering-Pharma (Berlin, Germany), Bausch And Lomb (Rochester, New York, USA), Genentech (San Francisco, California, USA), Hoffmann-La-Roche (Basel, Switzerland), NovagaliPharma (√Čvry, France), Novartis (Basel, Switzerland), Sanofi-Aventis (Paris, France), Thrombogenics (Heverlee, Belgium), Zeiss (Dublin, USA). Giuseppe Querques is a consultant for: Alimera Sciences (Alpharetta, Georgia, USA), Allergan Inc (Irvine, California, USA), Heidelberg (Germany), Novartis (Basel, Switzerland), Bayer Shering-Pharma (Berlin, Germany), Zeiss (Dublin, USA).

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