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High-Dose Statins Benefit Some Cases of Macular Degeneration

Patients experienced disappearance of drusen under the retina, slight improvement in vision clarity


FRIDAY, Feb. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- High doses of statin medications may benefit age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to research to be published in EBioMedicine.

In the study, 23 patients with dry AMD were given a high dose (80 milligrams) of atorvastatin.

In 10 of the patients, drusen under the retina disappeared and they had a slight improvement in vision clarity. It typically took a year to 18 months of treatment for these positive results to arise, the researchers reported. They noted that prior attempts to find ways to eliminate drusen under the retina have failed.

However, "we found that intensive doses of statins carry the potential for clearing up the lipid debris that can lead to vision impairment in a subset of patients with macular degeneration," study coauthor Joan Miller, M.D., chief of ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, said in an infirmary new release. "We hope that this promising preliminary clinical trial will be the foundation for an effective treatment for millions of patients afflicted with AMD."

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