“A landmark study published today in the journal Science by an international group of scientists, led by the laboratory of Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, professor & vice chair of the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the University of Kentucky, reports that HIV/AIDS drugs that have been used for the last 30 years could be repurposed to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as well as other inflammatory disorders, because of a previously undiscovered intrinsic and inflammatory activity those drugs possess,” reports Science Daily. “Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) are the most widely used class of anti-HIV drugs. NRTIs are thought to be therapeutic in HIV/AIDS patients because they target the enzyme reverse transcriptase, which is critical for replication of HIV. Previous work from the Ambati lab found that a type of toxic molecule called Alu RNA accumulate in the retina to cause dry AMD; interestingly, Alu RNA and HIV are similar in that they both require reverse transcriptase to fulfill their life cycle.” Read more.
Meanwhile, “a new type of laser treatment has the potential to slow progression of age-related macular degeneration - a major cause of vision loss - without damaging the retina,” notes Medical News Today. “This was the conclusion of a study from the University of Melbourne in Australia, published in The FASEB Journal. Erica Fletcher, an associate professor in Melbourne's Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, and colleagues examined the effectiveness of a new low-impact, low-energy, laser treatment for patients with early age-related macular degeneration (AMD).” Read more.