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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Macular degeneration


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Age-related maculopathy
  • AMD
  • ARM
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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition characterized by progressive destruction of the macula. The macula is located in the retina in the eye and enables one to see fine details and perform tasks that require central vision, such as reading and driving. Signs and symptoms include vision loss, which usually becomes noticeable in a person's sixties or seventies and tends to worsen over time. There are 2 major types of AMD, known as the dry form and the wet form. The dry form accounts for up to 90% of cases and is characterized by slowly progressive vision loss. The wet form is associated with severe vision loss that can worsen rapidly. AMD is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, some of which have been identified. Increasing age is the most important non-genetic risk factor. The condition appears to run in families in some cases.[1] While there is currently no cure for AMD, there are therapies available to help slow the progression of the condition.
Last updated: 10/7/2013


  1. Age-related macular degeneration. Genetics Home Reference. June 2011; Accessed 10/7/2013.
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Please contact us with your questions about Macular degeneration. We will answer your question and update these pages with new resources and information.

Basic Information

  • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Macular degeneration. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Eye Institute (NEI) was established by Congress in 1968 to protect and prolong the vision of the American people. Click on the link to view information on this topic. 

In Depth Information

  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Macular degeneration. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.