Cholesterol buildup links AMD, atherosclerosis

Vision loss caused by AMD may be prevented with cholesterol-lowering drugs.


St. Louis, MO-A new study raises the probability that cholesterol-lowering drugs may be effective against age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that AMD and atherosclerosis are both caused by the inability to remove built-up fat and cholesterol. Deposits of cholesterol also contribute to blood vessel growth in some types of cancer. Patients who have atherosclerosis are often prescribed medications to lower cholesterol and keep arteries clear. This study suggests that some of those same drugs could be evaluated in patients with AMD.

“Based on our findings, we need to investigate whether vision loss caused by AMD could be prevented with cholesterol-lowering eye drops or other medications that might prevent the buildup of lipids beneath the retina,” said Rajendra S. Apte, MD, PhD, senior investigator.

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