Complement, age-related macular degeneration and a vision of the future

Arch Ophthalmol. 2010 Mar;128(3):349-58. doi: 10.1001/archophthalmol.2010.18.


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the most well-characterized late-onset, complex trait diseases. Remarkable advances in our understanding of the genetic and biological foundations of this disease were derived from a recent convergence of scientific and clinical data. Importantly, the more recent identification of AMD-associated variations in a number of complement pathway genes has provided strong support for earlier, paradigm-shifting studies that suggested that aberrant function of the complement system plays a key role in disease etiology. Collectively, this wealth of information has provided an impetus for the development of powerful tools to accurately diagnose disease risk and progression and complement-based therapeutics that will ultimately delay or prevent AMD. Indeed, we are poised to witness a new era of a personalized approach toward the assessment, management, and treatment of this debilitating, chronic disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Complement System Proteins / physiology*
  • Genetic Techniques / trends
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / genetics
  • Macular Degeneration / physiopathology*


  • Complement System Proteins