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Age-related macular degeneration and its progressions: a perspective

Eye diseases such as Age-related Macular Degeneration, also known as AMD, are expected to increase in the coming years due to a variety of factors, including an aging population, unhealthy lifestyles, and chronic diseases.

In industrialized countries, AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over the age of 55, with a prevalence of around 5 million.
According to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2030 the number of patients with AMD will reach 243.4 million, an increase of 24% compared to 2020.

There are two forms of AMD: the dry (or atrophic) and the wet (or exudative) form. The latter is the progression of the former.

An initial increase in oxidative stress levels, mainly due to aging, as well as unhealthy lifestyles, environmental, and genetic factors, leads to an initial dysfunction of the retinal tissues, particularly of the retinal pigment epithelium. If this condition persists, waste products accumulate in the macula, forming the first drusen. To promote repair of the dysfunctional epithelium, the immune system intervenes with an inflammatory response that is self-perpetuating and, if left untreated, becomes chronic. What started as just a dysfunction, at this point, turns into actual damage.

For this reason, oxidative stress and chronic inflammation have been associated with the development and progression of dry AMD.
This process can further evolve and lead to wet AMD, with the formation of new pathogenic vessels.

It is essential to intervene therapeutically to decrease the inflammatory response and oxidative stress through the use of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

To contrast the effects of the oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, a direct intervention at the root causes of both processes is necessary.
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