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Contact: National Eye Institute Information Office
Recruitment Begins for Study on Age-Related Macular Degeneration
NEI Press Release
National Institutes of Health
National Eye Institute
July 7, 1999
B-roll and photos available
Patient recruitment has begun on a clinical trial to find out if laser treatment decreases vision loss for people who may be at risk for severe age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
AMD is a common eye disease of the macula, a tiny area in the retina that helps produce sharp, central vision required for "straight ahead" activities such as reading, sewing, and driving. A person with AMD - the leading cause of severe visual impairment in Americans 60 years of age and older - loses this clear, central vision. An estimated 1.7 million Americans have AMD.
The clinical trial, called the Complications of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Prevention Trial (CAPT), is designed to assess the safety and effectiveness of low intensity laser treatment. Researchers hope to determine if low intensity laser treatment might prevent disease progression and loss of vision in people who are at risk for severe AMD. The CAPT will enroll a total of 1000 patients in 23 clinical centers across the United States during an 18-month period. The trial will last at least five years and is sponsored by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the Federal government's National Institutes of Health.
"As 'baby boomers' age and a higher percentage of Americans reach age 60, AMD will become an even more serious medical issue," said Dr. Carl Kupfer, director of the NEI. "The prevalence of AMD is expected to rise to 6.3 million by the year 2030, when even greater percentages of our population will have turned 60."
All patients in the trial will have one eye treated with the laser and one eye not treated. The treatment is performed quickly and causes little, if any, discomfort. Both eyes will be carefully monitored throughout the trial to evaluate any eye or vision problems and determine the effects of the laser treatment. There is a small chance that the new treatment could increase the risk of vision loss. Any important information gained from this study will be shared with all CAPT patients, doctors, and the public as soon as it becomes available.
To be eligible for the study, patients must meet all of the following criteria:
- Age 50 or older.
- Large drusen, or yellow deposits, in the retinas of both eyes. These deposits can be viewed only by an eye care professional through a dilated eye exam.
- Vision of 20/40 or better in each eye.
- No other eye disease affecting vision.
- Available for five years of follow-up.
- No previous laser treatment to the retina.
Those who are interested in participating in the trial and want more information should check with their eye care professional to see if they meet all the study criteria listed above. A booklet listing study centers can be obtained from the CAPT Coordinating Center at 3535 Market Street, Suite 700, Philadelphia, PA, 19104-3309. Information also is available on the CAPT web site at http://www.med.upenn.edu/ophth/research/CAPT.html, or on the NEI's web site at http://www.nei.nih.gov/neitrials/static/study70.asp. A list of study centers is attached.
CAPT Clinical Centers
Donald W. Park, M.D.
Retinal Consultants of Arizona, Ltd.
560 West Brown Road, Suite 2004
Mesa, AZ 85201
Contact: Jennifer Blaisdell
Telephone: (602) 402-0409
Fax: (602) 833-6209
Donald W. Park, M.D.
Peter Reed Pavan, M.D.
Richard F. Dreyer, M.D.
Paul Sternberg, Jr., M.D.
Emory Eye Center
Emory University School of Medicine
1365-B Clifton Road, 4th Floor, Rm. B4625
Atlanta, GA 30322
Contact: Ann Ervin, M.P.H.
Telephone: (404) 778-2423
Fax: (404) 778-5128
David Orth, M.D.
Steven R. Leff, M.D.
Frederick H. Davidorf, M.D.
Photograph Reading Center
Stuart L. Fine, M.D.
Scheie Eye Institute
Department of Ophthalmology
Univ. of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
51 N. 39th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Telephone: (215) 662-8142
Maureen G. Maguire, Ph.D., Director
CAPT Coordinating Center
3535 Market Street, Suite 700
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3309
Telephone: (215) 615-1500
Fax: (215) 615-1531