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.

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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.


  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.