Age-Related Macular (AMD) is the leading cause of legal blindness in western societies worldwide. It has an estimated prevalence for all forms of disease which reaches nearly 8.7% of populations in this area with rates higher in Europeans than Asians or Africans.
Well-founded estimates project the worldwide number of people with AMD in 2020 to be 196 million and in 2040 to be 288 million people. In the near future, this macular disease will dramatically increase the individual as well as the socio-economic burden of the disease. In the past, 2/3 of the severe vision loss was in the neovascular or so-called exudative (“wet”) form but developments with intravitreal injections of medications to control the progression of abnormal vascularization and its secondary leakage, bleeding, and scarring, have provided a treatment which has benefited these patients by slowing up the relentless loss of central vision.
There is still no form of treatment for severe non-exudative or so-called “dry” AMD which relentlessly progresses with loss of cells and decline of central vision. The increasing geriatric populations in numerous western societies make this form of AMD the most challenging problem for the future in these societies.