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Ophthalmology gets grant to study age-related macular degeneration

  • May 16, 2012

UAB ophthalmologists are studying the role of a lipoprotein in macular degeneration.

The UAB Department of Ophthalmology has received a $100,000 unrestricted grant from Research to Prevent Blindness, the world’s leading voluntary eye organization supporting eye research. The grant will provide partial support for investigation into the underlying causes of age-related macular degeneration and help create improved model systems for research.

UAB scientists Christine Curcio, Ph.D., Clyde Guidry, Ph.D., and Nassrin Dashti, PhD., are studying a cholesterol-rich lipoprotein, similar to the bad cholesterol found in heart disease, which has been identified as the main pathway for drusen, the characteristic lesions found in AMD. This work may lead to a new therapeutic approach targeting those lesions.

Age-related macular degeneration affects more elderly Americans than Alzheimer’s disease, yet remains poorly understood at the biological level.