Study investigates gene therapy for vision condition

The condition commonly called AMD is a leading cause of permanent vision loss in people over the age of 55 and can severely impact daily life functions.

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – Specialists at the Rand Eye Institute are part of a study into a new treatment for a common eye condition that happens as we age.

Dr. Carl Danzig is the first in South Florida to administer an investigational gene therapy for people with dry age-related macular degeneration, commonly known as AMD.

The clinical trial, called Horizon, involves a single, one-time injection under the retina at the back of the eye to deliver this gene therapy.

“This is different than wet macular degeneration, which people know about, that takes place in the office. This is in the operating room, where we enter the eyeball and we go under the retina with a very tiny needle and we inject some gene therapy, and what this does, it provides instructions for your own cells to produce a natural regulatory protein that you already have and basically upregulate that -- you make that more and therefore, hopefully, fight the progression of this disease,” Danzig said.

AMD is a leading cause of permanent vision loss in people over the age of 55 and can severely impact daily life functions.

To learn more about the clinical trial underway here in South Florida, click here.

Also in today’s health news, a new study shows the benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 aren’t just positive in a physical sense, but also, psychologically.

Researchers overseeing a large longitudinal look at the impact of the pandemic on individuals in the United States, found that vaccination was associated with declines in distress and perceived risks of infection, hospitalization and death.

A lead researcher from the University of New Hampshire said the study documents the important psychological benefits of vaccination in addition to reducing the risk of severe illness and death associated with COVID-19.

About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.