Category: Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Immunology and Viral Eye Diseases

Various viruses from the Herpesviridae family seen using an electron micrograph.

When thinking of eye diseases, most people will immediately think of things such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. However, many other viral diseases of the eye affect millions of patients around the world. Clinicians and scientists in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine are working together to not only treat these diseases but use basic science research to lay the groundwork for future therapies. Diseases of the ocular surface (cornea and conjunctiva) can severely affect eyesight and quality of life and include: Allergies Chemical Burns Microbial Infections Dry Eye Disease The Herpesviridae

Astellas and University of Pittsburgh Announce Research Collaboration for Treatment of Dry Age-related Macular Degeneration

University of Pittsburgh Logo

Astellas Pharma Inc. and University of Pittsburgh have entered into a research collaboration agreement focused on the discovery and optimization of clinical candidates for the treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD), a back-of-the-eye disease, utilizing the AAV-based gene therapy approach. Among back-of-the-eye diseases, age-related macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of acquired blindness in the elderly. Dry AMD, in particular, is a disease in which retinal pigment epithelial cells gradually degenerate in the macula of the retina, and visual acuity deteriorates significantly as the disease advances to a severe stage. However, the mechanism leading to such

A New Look at Treating Eye Disease

Morgan V. Fedorchak, PhD

Exciting breakthroughs in ocular drug delivery and release may provide relief for vision patients who rely on eye drops, thanks to the work of Morgan Fedorchak, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Bioengineering and Clinical & Translational Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. New Solutions to Old Problems One of the biggest problems patients face with ocular diseases such as glaucoma and chronic dry eye is the frequent administration of medication via eye drops. For example, post-operative antibiotics following cataract surgery must initially be instilled as often as six times per day to prevent a potentially blinding infection. Likewise, patients battling

Getting a Bird’s Eye View

Susana da Silva, PhD

Scientists in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine continue to advance their research on a variety of areas that could eventually help solve the puzzle of vision loss. One current area of focus involves studying the fovea. What’s a Fovea? The fovea is a small depression in the retina of the eye where visual acuity is highest. The center of the field of vision is focused in this region, where retinal cones are mainly concentrated. The fovea is responsible for our ability to see colored and sharp vision and perform daily tasks, like reading,

First in the U.S. to Implant Wireless Retinal Device

Pixium Vision

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has implanted the first patient in the United States with a new wireless retinal device as part of a clinical trial aimed at restoring partial sight to patients with advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease that leads to permanent blindness. “Vision research has advanced dramatically in the recent past and UPMC is at the forefront of this revolution. This is the first of many such breakthroughs led by UPMC and Pitt that will benefit patients with vision loss in our community and around the world,” said José-Alain Sahel, M.D., director of the UPMC

Turning Back the Clock on Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the United States, affecting nearly two million people, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. With the aging population in America, this number is estimated to double in the coming two decades. AMD is a disease in the eye that affects the retina, which is a layer of nerve cells in the back of the eye that senses light and sends signals to the brain so a person can see. AMD occurs when a specific part of the retina called the macular is damaged, causing a person