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Date: July 7th, 2004

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Washington, D.C. - The Alliance for Aging Research, a not-for-profit organization, has launched a new campaign on a leading cause of vision loss in people over 60, Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

As part of the campaign, an Internet module has been added to the Alliance for Aging Research website (www.agingresearch.org), allowing consumers and physicians to access the latest scientific information relating to Age-Related Macular Degeneration through an “AMD Health Corner.” The module includes all of the new campaign materials including a brochure of patient frequently asked questions and answers, a “Test Your Eye-Q” quiz which measures your understanding of and risk for AMD, facts for physicians on providing efficient and effective care, and sources that physicians can direct their patients to for obtaining further information on AMD. Much of the information on the module is also available in a hard copy format for both physicians and their patients. 

Of most interest to consumers is the free FAQ brochure, which includes answers to the following: 

  • What is AMD and how does it affect my vision?
  • Does AMD have any symptoms?
  • How can I find out if I have AMD?
  • What can be done to treat AMD?
  • Are scientists looking for new treatments?

AMD is a condition that affects the macula, a small central part of the retina that allows one to see fine detail clearly. It is said to be the leading cause of irreversible vision lost in people beyond age 60 in the United States. Sources estimate as many as 13 million people ages 40 or older in the U.S have signs of AMD, while more than 1.2 million people have the vision-threatening stages of the disease. 

The materials for this campaign were produced by the Alliance for Aging Research in partnership with the National Eye Institute, NIH. The materials were made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Novartis Ophthalmics. To obtain the free brochure or other campaign materials, visit the Alliance website at www.agingresearch.org or call 202-293-2856. 

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Founded in 1986, the Alliance for Aging Research is a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the health and independence of aging Americans through public and private funding of medical research and geriatric education. The Alliance combines the interests of top scientists, public officials, business executives and foundation leaders to promote a greater national investment in research and new technologies that will prepare our nation for the coming senior boom, and improve the quality of life for today’s older generation.