Drusen Fragments May Lead to Wet AMD

by Dan Roberts
February 2006
Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati (University of Kentucky HealthCare physician and Associate Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences), has announced that his lab has identified fragments of two known components of drusen that may be the cause of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) progressing to the wet form.
The components are known as C3 and C5, and Dr. Ambati’s team has named the fragments of those components C3a and C5a. Now that they have been identified, the fragments can serve as markers for predicting which patients are at high risk for progression to the wet stage. Dr. Ambati’s next step (already in progress) is to develop a substance that can block C3a and C5a, essentially halting the progression from dry to wet. That is not to say that drusen are the only cause of CNV, but this is research worth following.