A Blind Study

National Eye Institute awards $10M grant for retinal disease research

(RxWiki News) The National Eye Institute has awarded the Departments of Pharmacology and Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine a five-year, $10.1 million grant to research and develop new treatments for retinal diseases.

With the funds, Case Western Reserve researchers will work with the Retinal Therapeutics Study Group to screen FDA-approved drugs for potential applications for complex retinal disorders and diseases since these drugs already have proven safety records for other conditions. The researchers aim to accelerate rates at which new therapies are developed.

Conditions affecting the retina -- the tissue found at the back of the eye that is responsible for vision -- rank among those most likely to cause blindness in American adults. One such condition, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is incurable and the main cause of blindness in adults over age 55. The disease is characterized by retina damage and loss of central daylight vision.

Researchers will build on past findings that indicate in AMD, one of the critical biochemical reactions in the nerve series that recycle vitamin A (essential in maintaining vision) is impaired. They have also already examined 24 FDA-approved drugs for their efficacy in attacking the buildup of harmful toxins in the retina.

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Review Date: 
December 29, 2010