Does levodopa protect against progression of AMD?
A new retrospective clinical study suggests that levodopa, a dopamine agonist commonly used to treat Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, may have protective effects against age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The study, which was presented at ARVO 2023, also found that other dopamine agonists (DA) may not have the same protective effects as levodopa.
The study, conducted on 21 patients with a history of AMD over a 3-year follow-up period, compared the effects of levodopa to other DA on AMD development and progression. Optical coherence tomography images were analyzed for the presence of choroidal neovascularization or geographic atrophy, as well as quantification of central macular thickness.
The results showed that patients taking levodopa had improved visual outcomes over the 3-year follow-up period compared to patients taking other DA. Specifically, patients in the levodopa cohort had better best corrected visual acuity than those in the different DA cohort. Furthermore, patients in the different DA cohort had higher rates of choroidal neovascularization and geographic atrophy at baseline.
The study was limited by its small sample size and retrospective nature. Therefore, further investigation with a larger sample size is warranted to confirm these findings.
Driban J, et al. Effects of Levodopa and Other Dopamine Agonists on the Development and Progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Presented at: ARVO 2023.
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