A common cholesterol-lowering drug statin can restore vision in the patients with a hard-to-treat version of the leading cause of blindness in the developed world, according to a new research.
Researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School and the University of Crete have conducted a phase I/II clinical trial investigating the efficacy of statins for the treatment of patients with the dry form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The researchers found evidence that treatment with high-dose atorvastatin (80mg) is associated with regression of lipid deposits and improvement in visual acuity, without progression to advanced disease, in high-risk AMD patients.
Their findings not only further the connection between lipids, AMD and atherosclerosis, but also present a potential therapy for some patients with dry AMD.
Researcher Joan W. Miller said that they found that intensive doses of statins carry the potential for clearing up the lipid debris that can lead to vision impairment in a subset of patients with macular degeneration.
Miller added that the researchers hope that this promising preliminary clinical trial will be the foundation for an effective treatment for millions of patients afflicted with AMD.
The study is published in EBioMedicine.