April 23, 2018 It's Time to Personalize How We Treat Patients with Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Wet AMD) Jared S. Nielsen M.D., a Wolfe Eye Clinic Retina Specialist, Publishes Research Seeking to Optimize Treatment for Patients with Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration (nvAMD) Optimizing Treatment for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration Patients with Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration (also known as Wet AMD) are all too familiar with the intricacies and importance of treatment. Without conscientious treatment, eyes with Wet AMD can end up with permanent loss of central vision. In a recently published study, Wolfe Eye Clinic's Dr. Nielsen along with a group of respected experts reviewed Wet AMD treatment strategies. The purpose of the paper was to support care providers and optimize treatment outcomes for patients who suffer from Wet AMD. Dr. Nielsen and coauthors advocate for more personalized management of treatment to help patients overcome significant barriers to successful treatment.* What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration? Initially characterized by a blurred area in the center of vision, AMD causes damage to the macula, a part of the retina needed for sharp, central vision. In fact, AMD is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness among people 60 and older. As such, the condition can be debilitating to patient's independence and quality of life, increasing the risk for cognitive dysfunction, depression and financial burdens. It is estimated that approximately 14 million people have AMD.* Treatment The most common form of treatment for Wet AMD consists of regular eye injections of one of three different agents. In clinical trials, visual acuity (i.e., sharpness of vision) was maintained over 2 years in 90% or more of patients. However, fixed clinical trial treatment protocols and results may not always extend into real-world settings or produce optimal results for these patients. Nielsen and coauthors suggest that personalized treatment for each patient and their circumstances should help reduce treatment burdens (including eye injection and doctor visits) and optimize outcomes.* Conclusion According to Dr. Nielsen, "The burden of management can be high and, unfortunately, many patients do not receive the intensity of treatment required to achieve optimal outcomes. Efforts to reduce treatment burden using advanced imaging and a customized treatment approach, along with patient education and support, can help minimize disease burden and improve patient outcomes." * Read the full-published report here! Des Moines, Iowa based retina specialist Jared S. Nielsen, M.D., earned his medical degree along with a masters degree in pathology in a combined program at the Chicago Medical School. Following an internship at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, Hawaii, he completed an ophthalmology residency at Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Nielsen completed a vitreoretinal surgery fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, where he remains a Clinical Instructor of Ophthalmology. Dr. Nielsen joined as a Wolfe Eye Clinic eye doctor in 2007. Dr. Nielsen is an active eye care researcher and participates in clinical trials designed to provide better care to patients who suffer from sight-threatening retinal diseases. *Wykoff, C., Clark, W., Nielsen, J., Brill, J., Greene, L., Heggen, C. (2018) Optimizing Anti-VEGF Treatment Outcomes for Patients with Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy, 24(2-a), S3-S15.