Could a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease help delay or prevent macular degeneration? In a study published in the American Journal of Medicine researchers found that patients receiving L-DOPA were significantly less likely to get age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Darker pigmented eyes are known to be resistant to AMD and also have increased levels of L-DOPA in them. Since L-DOPA is frequently prescribed for Parkinson’s patients, the researchers wanted to know whether patients who received the drug as treatment for Parkinson’s or other diseases were protected from AMD.
After reviewing large databases of medical chart data, the researchers discovered that patients receiving L-DOPA were significantly less likely to get AMD, and when they did, its onset was significantly delayed; L-DOPA also delayed or prevented AMD from progressing to its “wet” form.
The research findings are based off an analysis of the medical records of 37,000 patients at the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin. These major findings were then confirmed by reviewing a data set of 87 million patients.
The researchers are looking to launch a clinical trial to further test the ability of this drug to prevent AMD.
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