New research could assist ophthalmologists in stemming the tide of macular degeneration. Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati and colleagues discovered that an enzyme called cGAS, which plays a vital role in the body's immune response to infections, unexpectedly has a hand in killing cells in the retina. Researchers are currently working to develop drugs that could inhibit the enzymes function.
“Almost 200 million people in the world have macular degeneration. If macular degeneration were a country, it would be the eighth-most-populated nation in the world. That’s how large a problem this is,” said Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, vice chairman for research of UVA’s Department of Ophthalmology and the founding director of UVA’s Center for Advanced Vision Science.
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"UVA Discovers Trigger for Macular Degeneration that Robs Millions of Vision"