Submitted to: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2012
Publication Date: 7/1/2012
Citation: Taylor, A. 2012. Introduction to the issue regarding research regarding age related macular degeneration. Molecular Aspects of Medicine . 33(4):291-294. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Blindness is the second greatest fear among the elderly. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss among the elderly in most industrialized nations. AMD first compromises central high acuity vision. Subsequently, all vision may be lost. AMD is a progressive retinal degeneration that develops after age 50 and affects 30% of people age 70 or older. At least sixty million people worldwide are affected. Over 10 million people are affected in the US, and it is predicted that this number will double by 2050. Globally, 25 million are affected and the number will triple in 13 years. Persons over 60 represent the fastest growing segment of the population, and people around the world are living longer. Given the cost in terms of quality of life and with financial costs in excess of $340 US billion, AMD will remain a significant and growing public health problem for the foreseeable future. Clearly, it is critical to find means to diminish risk for, and to delay the onset or progress of AMD. In this issue leading AMD researchers summarize our current knowledge regarding the etiology of the disease. They also suggest directions that should lead to new means to diminish the burden of this devastating condition.