Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in people over 60, and currently, roughly 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with the condition, which affects women more than men. A person with AMD can't see things when looking straight ahead; instead of a face or a words, there's a fuzzy center. So naturally AMD makes it tough for people to drive, read, or tackle everyday tasks.
Until now, there was no known cure, but scientists have discovered that a drug used to treat Parkinson's offers hope for people with AMD. The drug is L-DOPA, and taking it can prevent AMD, or at the very least, significantly delay the age in which you develop it.
While the research was first done in mice, scientists also combed through the data to look at the medical records of 87 million people, and found that those with AMD taking L-DOPA developed AMD eight years later than those who didn't take the drug--or didn't develop the disease at all.
Next step is to start clinical trials. If you are at risk for macular degeneration, there are some other steps you can take before L-DOPA becomes widely available: Eat plenty of fish and leafy green vegetables, stop smoking if you haven't already, and exercise.
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