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New treatment may aid macular degeneration

SHARE New treatment may aid macular degeneration

A new treatment called photodynamic therapy (PDT) might help more than 200,000 people afflicted each year with a form of macular degeneration, a progressive disorder causing gradual loss of central vision.

The disease, which primarily affects people over age 60, occurs under the retina.

During PDT, a drug is localized in tissues that have active blood vessel growth. In about 15 minutes, a low-energy laser is used on the front part of the eye.

"By combining the laser and the drug, we are better able to target the troubled area without causing any significant damage to other parts of the eye," according to Dr. William Mieler, a professor of ophthalmology at Baylor College in Houston and participant in the national PDT clinical trial.