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Health Agencies Update |

Macular Degeneration Study

Joan Stephenson, PhD
JAMA. 1999;282(7):625. doi:10.1001/jama.282.7.625-JHA90006-2-1.
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A new study is under way to determine if low-intensity laser treatment prevents disease progression and reduces vision loss in people who are at risk for severe age-related macular degeneration. The National Eye Institute (NEI)–sponsored effort, called the Complications of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Prevention Trial (CAPT), will enroll a total of 1000 patients in 23 clinical centers across the country.

All participants will have one eye treated with the laser and the other eye left untreated as a control. In previous research, treatments similar to CAPT resulted in the reduction of drusen, yellow deposits that are the most common early sign of age-related macular degeneration. Throughout the trial, investigators will carefully monitor both eyes for any eye or vision problems and determine the effects of the laser treatment.

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Drusen (yellow deposits), the most common early sign of age-related macular degeneration (left), may resolve after laser treatment (right). A new clinical trial will examine whether such treatment can prevent disease progression and reduce vision loss in people at risk of disease.

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