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Genetic testing for AMD not recommended

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has published its position in regards to the use of genetic testing to identify patients most likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD). None of the AMD tests which are currently on the market can identify which patients are predisposed to developing the condition and the AAO recommends that ophthalmologists avoid recommending genetic testing. Then genetic tests have little predictive power as to which patients will actually develop the disease and in addition, there is no evidence from any clinical trials that suggests that knowing the results of these genetic tests alters the course of the disease in any way. The AAO recommends that ophthalmologists avoid routine genetic testing (which costs $2,000) for conditions like AMD until evidence from a clinical trial demonstrates the benefits of such testing. Instead, ophthalmologists should concentrate on advising patients on the benefits of not smoking and eating a proper diet to help prevent the onset of the disease. Companies such as ArticDx, which makes the Macular Risk cheek swab test for Macular Degeneration and costs under $100.00, were quick to rebute the findings.*

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