Protein in eye fluid may help clinicians tailor AMD treatment

Researchers have discovered a new way of assessing whether AMD patients will require ongoing regular eye injections or can taper off treatment

eye with mascara
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US scientists have discovered a protein that may predict whether patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) require ongoing injections or can be safely tapered off treatment.

The research, which was published in Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight, involved collecting samples of eye fluid from 38 AMD patients who were beginning treatment.

Patients were grouped by the frequency that they required treatment at the end of one year.

The samples of these patients were then screened for proteins that have been linked to the development of abnormal blood vessels.

They found that one protein, angiopoietin-like 4, was present in higher levels in patients who required monthly treatment compared with those who were able to reduce the frequency of injections or stop treatment.

The scientists determined that higher levels of this protein accurately predicted clinical outcomes within the patient population.

By measuring VEGF and angiopoietin-like 4 levels researchers were able to identify with 76% sensitivity and 85% specificity patients who were likely to need monthly eye injections.

Associate professor of ophthalmology, Akrit Sodhi, shared: "The proteins in the eye may help us identify patients who can safely be weaned off these therapies or transition to other, new ways of delivering these drugs to the retina.”