Lipofuscin Accumulation in Dry AMD

Lipofuscin Accumulation in Dry AMD

Posted under Eye Conditions, Low Vision Info

“An important pathological characteristic of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the accumulation of lipofuscin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Lipofuscin may interfere with normal RPE cellular function and result in RPE death with associated loss of overlying photoreceptors.” according to the authors of The Role of Vitamin A in the Progression of Dry AMD.  The retinal pigment epithelium is a layer of the retina that plays an important role in transporting and storing vitamin A. Waste product builds up in this retinal layer and needs to be transported out. The delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the photoreceptor cells can also be impeded by this “transportation gridlock. “ When waste from the shedding membranes of the photoreceptor cells accumulate it can lead to a deterioration of the health of the retina and possibly affect one’s central vision and ability to see sharp details.


What Are Lipofuscin?

Lipofuscin are granules that contain protein and lipids. It is normal for lipofuscin to accumulate with age, in those that are healthy and in those with retinal diseases.  However there is a much higher amount of this byproduct in those with macular degenerative diseases, such as age related macular degeneration, Stargardt’s disease and Best disease. Dry age related macular degeneration (AMD)  is characterized by excessive lipofuscin in the RPE.


Clinical Trial to Reduce Lipofuscin

A new clinical trial for dry AMD will use an oral drug, LBS-008, to target  the removal of excess lipofuscin. The intent or goal of the study is to slow down or stop the progression of dry AMD.  The medication “works by reducing retinol in circulation and excess retinal uptake, leading to the formation of toxic byproducts that build up under the retina that causes dry AMD, and similarly in Stargardt Macular Dystrophy, the juvenile onset form of macular degeneration, which is an inherited retinal disease that leads to severe early vision loss in children. “ state the Clinical Trial coordinators of the new study.  The collaborators of this study include Lin Bioscience, Columbia University and the National Institute of Health’s Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network. Lin Bioscience is based in San Diego and focuses on developing new drugs that impact those with cancer, heart and eye diseases. The Phase I clinical trial is expected to open sometime in 2017.  At this time there is no effective medical treatment for the dry form of AMD or for the juvenile form, Stargardt’s disease.  To find out about other clinical trials for Dry AMD visit:


Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration Clinical Trials


Leslie Degner, RN, BSN