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# 52 Research & Development 2019

Lots of research and development has occurred in 2019. I’d like to summarize the report given to the International Low Vision Support Group in June 2019 by Dan Roberts, Director. The report in its entirety can be found at this link: https://lowvision.preventblindness.org/2019/05/25/summary-of-research-and-developments-2019/ at Living Well With Low Vision by Prevent Blindness.

Each bullet point has a reference in the report if you want to read more about the topic.

  • The drug Abicipar is effective at up to 12-week dosages. 
  • A second drug, Faricimab given every 12 or 16 weeks gave outcomes comparable to a drug being dosed every four weeks.
  • Eylea is a current drug being tested to determine if every 12 weeks produces the same results.
  • In yet another study, a new Port Delivery System (PDS) is implanted surgically and refilled approximately every 6 months through a port accessible to the exterior of the eyeball. The implant is slightly longer than a grain of rice. The results have been positive.
  • Physician administered eye drops in place of injections are under investigation.
  • Other studies involve oral medications instead of eye injections or eye drops.
  • Gene therapy to correct the defective gene is under study.
  • Research continues to study why some macular degeneration patients experience hallucinations and some don’t.
  • Annual physical exams often do not include vision checks. If your exam doesn’t, ask for one. Early detection can be a major factor in treatment.
  • Research continues regarding blue light exposure and whether it is a problem.
  • A study in Austria revealed a relationship between egg consumption and wet macular degeneration. Those who ate two or more eggs a week had less chance of developing ARMD.
  • The law now requires that audio description for the blind and visually impaired be made available by all digital first-run movie theaters. (link to blog # 48 ) 
  • Designed to work in conjunction with VoiceOver, Seeing AI reads a short text and even full documents quickly and easily. A thrift-minded person could purchase a refurbished iPod Touch (essentially a small iPad) from Apple at https://www.apple.com/shop/refurbished/ipod then load it with Seeing AI to create a very useful and relatively inexpensive portable handheld electronic reader. And the iPod can also be used to browse the Internet or use email. The bottom line here is reading does not have to be an insurmountable problem anymore for visually impaired people.

This list of work in 2019 is very encouraging to me. The future offers hope for even more research and development in the study of macular degeneration.

Under “latest news” on the website Living Well with Low Vision are newer studies https://lowvision.preventblindness.org/2019/05/25/summary-of-research-and-developments-2019/

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