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Drugs Already on Market Prevent Light-Induced Retinal Degeneration in Mice

(NIH, National Eye Institute) Combinations of Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs protect against the loss of cells required for vision in a mouse model of blinding retinal diseases…
The drugs, which are currently used for a range of conditions, from lowering blood pressure to treating prostate disease, may eventually offer an option for preventing vision loss associated with the degeneration of cells in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The loss of retinal function causes blindness in diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and Stargardt disease, the most common form of inherited juvenile macular degeneration. If the therapy's success is replicated in humans, it would represent an entirely novel approach to preventing visual impairment, said the study's principal investigator, Krzysztof Palczewski, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Pharmacology at Case Western Reserve University.
The researchers selected the drugs because they act on G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), a family of signaling proteins in various cell types throughout the body.
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