A study at Harvard Medical School has found that high-dose treatment with the statin Lipitor cleared away fatty deposits behind the retina, leading to visual improvement in ten patients with the dry form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The National Institutes of Health notes that there are effective treatments for the wet form of AMD, but not the dry form, so dry-form AMD remains the leading cause of blindness in the developed world.
AMD results from fat deposits forming under the retina, resulting in blurring or blindness in the center of vision.
In the Harvard study, 23 patients with dry-form AMD were given a high dose (80 milligrams) of atorvastatin (Lipitor).
In 10 of the patients, the fat deposits under the retina disappeared and they had a slight improvement in vision clarity, according to the study published online Feb. 4 in the journal EBioMedicine.
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