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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 43-51

The past, present, and future of exudative age-related macular degeneration treatment


1 Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Kentucky Lions Eye Center, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY, USA
2 Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, Kentucky Lions Eye Center, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY, USA

Correspondence Address:
Tongalp H Tezel
Kentucky Lions Eye Center, University of Louisville School of Medicine, 301 E. Muhammad Ali Blvd. Louisville, KY 40202
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.92115

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Treatment of exudative age-related macular degeneration has been revolutionized within the last 6 years with the introduction of vascular endothelial growth factor neutralizing agents. Previously popular "destructive treatments," such as laser photocoagulation and photodynamic treatment have either been abandoned or used as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy. Despite the increase in vision after antivascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents, they require repetitive and costly intravitreal injections that also carry the inherit risks of infection, retinal tears, and detachment. Several new and more potent VEGF inhibitors are at different stages of development. The goal of evolving pharmacotherapy is to preserve the therapeutic effect while reducing or eliminating the discomfort of intravitreal drug delivery, as well as identify new therapeutic targets. Complement inhibitors, immunomodulators, integrin inhibitors are a few of the new class of drugs that are expected to be in our armamentarium soon. Current medications act to decrease leakage through abnormal subretinal choroidal vasculature and promote involution. However, these medications are only effective in treating the active stage of the choroidal neovascular membrane. Restoration of vision of a large number of patients with involuted choroidal neovascular membranes is warranted. For this purpose, tissue engineering techniques have been employed to reconstruct the subretinal anatomy. Discovery of biomarkers, pharmacogenetics, and very specific targeting holds the promise of increased potency and safety in the future.


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