Levodopa May Protect Against Age-Related Macular Degeneration

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Levodopa May Protect Against Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Levodopa May Protect Against Age-Related Macular Degeneration

HealthDay News — Levodopa (L-dopa), commonly used to treat Parkinson's, may prevent or treat macular degeneration, according to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine.

Researchers analyzed medical records of 37,000 patients from a Wisconsin clinic. The researchers looked for signs whether or not those who took levodopa had lower rates of age-related macular degeneration. They also examined a medical database of 87 million people.

The researchers found that diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration occurred, in general, around age 71. But among those who took levodopa, it occurred much later, at around age 79.

According to lead author Brian S. McKay, PhD, an associate professor of ophthalmology and vision science at the University of Arizona in Tucson, the drug may affect development of age-related macular degeneration by protecting photoreceptors.

Reference

  1. Brilliant MH, Vaziri K, Connor TB, et al. Mining Retrospective Data for Virtual Prospective Drug Repurposing: L-DOPA and Age-related Macular Degeneration. Am J Med. 2015; doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.10.015.
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