Using roundworms, the University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers believe they have identified a new and distinct cause of macular degeneration. The discovery offers the potential to identify new ways to treat the disease.
“In order to find a cure for a disease, you have to fully understand what causes it, and we identified potential new contributors that were not known before,” says Bruce Vogel, PhD, Assistant Professor of Physiology and Scientist at the UMSOM’s Center for Biomedical Engineering and Technology (BioMET).
“Our findings suggest that complement factor H plays a role in maintaining the organization of photoreceptor cilia, and this process may be defective in age-related macular degeneration,” says Vogel. “We plan to continue this work to determine how this structural disruption affects vision and to determine whether we can reverse the disruption and restore photoreceptor function.”