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Macugen may be an effective treatment for BRVO

Patients suffering from Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO) may benefit from injections of Macugen. A recent study offered promising results with half of the participants gaining at least 3 lines of vision by 30 weeks in the 54 week study. The study was published in the January issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology. BRVO is one type of Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO). Retinal Vein Occlusion is second only to diabetic retinopathy as a cause of vision loss caused by retinal vascular disease.? RVO occurs when there is a blockage in the blood supply from the retina which then causes swelling and hemorrhages which can then lead to sudden blurring or vision loss in part of the eye or in the entire eye. BRVO occurs when one of the branches of the main vein to the eye is blocked. Retinal vein occlusions are generally seen in patients aged 50 and over with the highest rate among those in their 60's and 70's. Macugen is administered through injections into the vitreous gel of the eye. It works by binding to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) which is a protein. VEGF plays an essential role in the formation of new blood vessels. While researchers are encouraged by the initial results, further clinical trials are needed. Elise Ervin Staff Writer

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