Loss of vision is one of the most common adverse events of older age, being associated with loss of independence, loss of earnings (for the individual and carers) and profound impact on quality of life. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in its late stages is a leading cause of blindness and moderate and severe vision impairment in adults aged 50 years and over globally. Although the advent of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor drugs has dramatically improved the outcomes of wet AMD patients, there are no treatments for the remaining majority of dry AMD patients.
Using DExtER we undertook a series of analysis to find suitable treatment options for dry AMD. We were able to undertake a variety of pharmaco-epidemiology approaches; starting with a time-dependent exposure design, directed by proposed biological mechanisms, we were able to examine whether Metformin would be a suitable treatment agent (Published here). Although, this demonstrated no relationship, we then went onto (powered by DExtER) undertake a signal generating exercise finding suitable therapy modalities among all remaining medications. Many signals were identified for several medications, and this has led to further exploration and trialling the first potential therapeutic option for dry AMD.