People with late stage age-related macular degeneration lose their central vision. So an image like the one on the left might appear to them as shown on the right.

Seeing Progress

September 10, 2020

As we get older, many of our body’s processes start slowing down. For instance, a cut on the hand will take longer to heal after middle age than in youth. That said, it still heals.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for the cells at the back of the eye, which simply don’t repair much after we pass age 65. This can lead to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults. Over 2 million cases were reported in the U.S. in 2010, and the National Eye Institute estimates AMD will affect more than 3.5 million adults in the country by 2030.

Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have overcome a major hurdle in creating a platform to test therapies for this disease, the most common form of which currently has no treatment. The results appear in the journal PLOS ONE.