Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Diabetic RetinopathyAge related macular degeneration (AMD) affects nearly one in three people over the age of 75, making it significantly more prevalent than Alzheimer’s disease. People with AMD lose their central vision, severely impairing their ability to read, watch television or drive. The epicenter of the disease is the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a single layer of cells in the retina adjacent to the photoreceptor cells.

In April 2009, a research collaboration between faculty at the Jules Stein Eye Institute and the BSCRC received $5.5 million grant from CIRM to take basic science discoveries and translate them into new therapies for AMD. The research underway seeks to develop a strategy for transplanting stem-cell derived RPE cells into the eyes of patients with AMD and offers the real potential of slowing or arresting the progression of blindness in patients suffering from AMD.