Disease Focus of the Month – Age related Macular degeneration (AMD)

Age related Macular degeneration (AMD): is a disease that affects mostly older people and it results in loss of vision due to the attack on macula, the part of the eye that helps to see very fine detail. AMD occurs in dry and wet forms. In some cases it occurs slowly while in others it occurs very fast leading to loss of vision in both eyes.

Prevalence Rate: AMD is diagnosed in 1 in 27 people in USA. Following website could be a good resource for the statistics related to other countries: http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/a/age_related_macular_degeneration/stats-country.htm. The prevalence of this disease increases to 30% in patients 75 to 85 years of age.

Cause(s): Age is one of the most important reasons for this disease. The studies have suggested that people above 60 years of age are at greater risk to develop this disease than other age groups. However other factors also contribute to it such as smoking, obesity, family history and gender. Women are more prone to it than men.

Treatments: Wet and dry AMDs are treated differently. Wet AMD could be treated with Laser surgery, photodynamic therapy and injections into the eye. Unfortunately, none of the treatments guarantee success. The disease may progress even after the treatment.

Dry AMDs, when at advanced stage could not be treated and it finally results in loss of vision. However treatments with high dosage formulation of antioxidants and zinc slow down the progression of this disease.

Market size: Based on the studies and market research reports, global macular degeneration market was valued at $1.3 billion in 2009 and is expected to grow to $3 Billion by 2017 with a CAGR of 10.4%.