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AMD (Age-related macular degeneration)

AMD is a disorder characterized by progressive degenerative lesions to the macula responsible for the most detailed vision. AMD is classified into two general subgroups: the atrophic or dry type and the exudative or wet type.

AMD affects some 700,000 people in Spain (some 1.5% of the current population) and is one of the blindness associated pathologies that will grow most in coming years. If only the population aged over 50 years is considered (the population with greater probability of suffering AMD), the prevalence is 5.3%. AMD currently represents the leading cause of blindness in developed countries.

Atrophic or Dry AMD. The new main cause of legal blindness in people agedover 50 years.


Dry AMD represents around 85% of all cases of AMD and around 35% of all cases of advanced AMD. Up to 18% of people aged over 85 years suffer from this disease and in this segment it is four times more frequent than exudative AMD. In Spain, this illness affects almost 6% of the population aged over 75 years. In the United States, it is calculated that a million people may suffer from this disease and that by the year 2020 the number will have increased by 50%.


After the important advances obtained in the control of the exudative form of AMD, the great challenge to which the Foundation is committed is finding a treatment that may slow down the unstoppable progression of the atrophic forms of the disease, together with others that allow restoration or regeneration of the part of the retina that is missing or destroyed.

The progression of atrophic AMD is apparently slow from the viewpoint of clinical trials because in the studies it is necessary to be able to evaluate results in a relatively short time. But for people suffering from the disease, the speed is very great and in just a few years they can experience significant vision loss, which means that over time the defect in the visual field is much more significant than in the exudative forms. In fact, it is calculated that the atrophy lesions may grow by up to two square millimeters per year.

The research activity of the Barcelona Macula Foundation into atrophic AMD focuses on the characterization of the disease’s growth, because with regard to endeavoring to find new treatments, it is very important to be aware of the details of its progression in order to avoid confusing changes in its natural history with changes produced by a possible drug that may be under study.


Dr. Jordi Monés, M.D., Ph.D.
COMB Medical license number: 22.838
BMF Medical Director
Doctor of Medicine and Surgery
Specialist in Ophthalmology
Specialist in Retina, Macula and Vitreorretinal
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