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UVA researchers uncover potential dry macular degeneration treatment

Macular Degeneration Evaluation
Macular Degeneration Evaluation(WNDU)
Published: Oct. 23, 2021 at 9:10 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - UVA researchers say they have evidence that a common antidepressant can slow progression of dry macular degeneration.

In most cases, the disease is caused by first and second hand smoke, causing eventual blindness.

“We tested Fluoxetine or Prozac out on a handful of different models on macular degeneration and found that the drug seemed to be beneficial in those models,” UVA researcher, Dr. Bradley Gelfand said.

Meenakshi Ambati, an Albemarle High school student, joined the research project.

She says dry macular degeneration has no approved treatment, giving this research a special purpose.

“I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to work in Dr. Gelfand’s lab, and to be able to pursue my scientific passions, to be able to help society. That’s what I’ve really enjoyed about all of this,” Ambati said.

Both Ambati and Dr. Gelfand say the research is some time away from human testing, but this is a good first step.

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