Macular degeneration: recent advances and therapeutic opportunities

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2006 Nov;7(11):860-72. doi: 10.1038/nrn2007. Epub 2006 Oct 11.


The central retina mediates high acuity vision, and its progressive dysfunction due to macular degeneration is the leading cause of visual disability among adults in industrialized societies. Here, we summarize recent progress in understanding the pathophysiology of macular degeneration and the implications of this new knowledge for treatment and prevention. The past decade has witnessed remarkable advances in this field, including the development of new, non-invasive retinal imaging technologies, the development of animal models for macular disease, and the isolation of many of the genes responsible for both early- and late-onset macular diseases. These advances have set the stage for the development of effective mechanism-based therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism
  • Aging / pathology
  • Animals
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy
  • Macular Degeneration / genetics
  • Macular Degeneration / physiopathology*
  • Macular Degeneration / therapy
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate / metabolism
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate / pathology
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / metabolism
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / pathology
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / physiopathology
  • Retina / metabolism
  • Retina / pathology
  • Retina / physiopathology*
  • Retinal Artery / pathology
  • Retinal Artery / physiopathology*
  • Retinaldehyde / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Retinaldehyde / metabolism


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Retinaldehyde