London: A new study has revealed that a drug based on vitamin A could prevent millions from going blind as they get older.
Researchers found that the drug fenretinide, found it halted the advance of age-related macular degeneration, for which there is currently no cure.
The condition called ‘dry’ AMD, which is caused by the deterioration and death of cells in the macula – the part of the retina used to see straight ahead. It blocks the eyesight by creating a blackspot in the centre of the person’s vision, reports the Daily Mail.
Fenretinide, which is derived from vitamin A, the vitamin found in carrots, was originally designed to tackle arthritis but the researchers found that in the highest dose, the drug halted visual deterioration after a year.
Although it can’t help already-damaged cells, fenretinide protected healthy cells.
Doctors caution that the research is preliminary, but seems promising.