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Cholesterol-busting drugs could help prevent blindness

Cholesterol-busting drugs could help prevent blindness
4th April 2013

Eye drops which help to lower cholesterol may be able to prevent a common form of blindness in older people.

Macular degeneration (AMD) is an age-related condition which causes a person's eyesight to decline gradually over time.

Age, genetics and smoking all increase the risk of a person suffering with the condition, but studies conducted at the Washington University School of Medicine found that it can also be caused by harmful fats in the blood.

Published in the journal Cell Metabolism, the study, which was conducted on mice, suggests that drugs used to treat people with high cholesterol can delay the onset of AMD.

Abdoulaye Sene, co-author of the research, said: "We were able to deliver the drug, called an LXR agonist, in eye drops. And we found we could reverse the macular degeneration in the eye of an old mouse."

It is believed that around 500,000 people are living with with AMD in the UK, with 40 per cent of that number aged over 75.

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