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Drugs used to treat HIV may be effective in treating Macular Degeneration

Researchers at the University of Kentucky along with researchers from Cardiff University published the results of a study involving the use of NRTIs (Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors) in treating macular degeneration in the journal of Science. NRTIs have been used to treat both cancer and HIV. Researchers discovered that the NRTIs effectively treated macular degeneration by blocking a signaling pathway that involves the protein molecule known as P2X7, which is linked to several inflammatory conditions. NRTIs prevented retinal degeneration in lab mice that had dry macular degeneration. This was due to the NRTIs ability to block an immune pathway. The research is promising and hopefully signals a potential new treatment for they dry form of macular degeneration and may even hold possibilities for other inflammatory diseases where the protein molecule P2X7 is implicated.*

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