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Drug Used to Treat Parkinson’s May Also Help Treat Macular Degeneration

Posted on November 10, 2015 by Disability Help Group

Macular degeneration is a progressive eye disease that causes blurring of vision from the middle of the eye – the macula – and slowly spreads to the outer edges of the field of vision. Eventually, macular degeneration can lead to complete blindness.

Currently, there is no cure for macular degeneration. However, the BrightFocus Foundation has recently funded a multi-partner research venture that may have found a new treatment option for macular degeneration patients. The study, published in The American Journal of Medicine, focuses on L-DOPA, a drug commonly used to treat Parkinson’s disease.

The research discovered that macular degeneration, also called age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as it is associated with older age, was less likely to occur in older people with darker-colored eyes. Highly pigmented eyes have higher levels of the L-DOPA chemical, a precursor to dopamine that is used to supplement the deficiencies in Parkinson’s patients.

37,000 patient records from the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin were assessed for the study, and several were being treated for Parkinson’s with the L-DOPA medication. Patients taking L-DOPA for Parkinson’s or other diseases were found to be less prone to developing AMD than those who did not take the drug. A second study from a larger database of patient records consisting of 87 million national samples confirmed the preventative properties of L-DOPA against AMD.

Researchers are now looking to start clinical trials to directly measure L-DOPA as a treatment for AMD.

Severe Low Vision or Blindness? You May Be Eligible for Special Disability Benefits

The Social Security disability benefits program has special compensation available for people with extremely low vision or who are completely blind. If you are looking to obtain these benefits, the Disability Help Group is here to help you file your claim. Contact us online or call us at 1-(800)-800-3332 to schedule a consultation with our disability advocates!