Parkinson’s drug wards off blindness in oldies

By: | Published: November 15, 2015 9:00 PM

A team of researchers has discovered a drug, which is normally used to treat Parkinson's disease, that may be able to delay or prevent a common form of blindness among older people.

A team of researchers has discovered a drug, which is normally used to treat Parkinson’s disease, that may be able to delay or prevent a common form of blindness among older people.

Researchers discovered a biological connection between darker pigmented eyes, which are known to be resistant to Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and increased levels of a chemical called L-DOPA in those eyes. L-DOPA is frequently prescribed for Parkinson’s patients.

They reported that patients receiving L-DOPA were significantly less likely to get AMD, and when they did, its onset was significantly delayed.

Senior author Brian McKay of the University of Arizona said that rather than looking at what might cause AMD, they instead wondered why certain people were protected from AMD.

BrightFocus president Stacy Pagos Haller said that this exciting breakthrough showed the power of scientific discovery to give hope to millions of people across the nation and the world.

The study is published in the American Journal of Medicine.

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