For the first time, investigators have confirmed that age-related macular degeneration is not just a disease in the eye, but is the manifestation of an immune system malfunction in the entire body. Faulty regulation of the complement system in AMD patients causes it to become hyperactive throughout the body, according to researchers at the University of Bonn, Germany. This malfunction creates a permanent inflammatory reaction throughout the body, which eventually manifests at the center of the retinalikely the bodys most susceptible point. This research raises the possibility that other organs are also affected but have gone undetected so far. It also raises the possibility that patients with AMD could be treated with local or systemic complement inhibitors.


Allergic conjunctivitis that doesnt respond to standard therapy may benefit from topical application of a dermatologic cream for eczema, according to a pilot study in Julys Current Eye Research. Researchers in Israel applied Protopic ointment (tacrolimus 0.03%, Astellas Pharma) twice daily into the conjunctival sac of patients with intractable allergic conjunctivitis. After two weeks, they noted statistically significant improvement in conjunctivitis scores.

Vol. No: 145:08Issue: 8/15/2008