The age related macular degeneration of the neovascular type (Neovascular Age-related Macular Degeneration, nAMD) or more commonly referred to as “exudative maculopathy” is a severe ocular pathology involving the macula, i.e. the portion of the central retina, responsible for fine detailed vision that enables us to recognize a face, read, carry out precision works, drive a car, etc.
In technologically advanced countries, the incidence of the AMD has strongly increased and continues increasing due to the lengthening of the average lifespan and the simultaneous occurrence of other environmental and nutritional factors in addition to the genetic ones sometimes predominant. The AMD strikes, in fact, approximately 11% of the individuals aged between 65 and 74 years and such percentage considerably increases when older age ranges are taken into consideration. As of today’s date the AMD, in more industrialized countries, represents the most common cause of legal blindness and low vision in individuals older than 55 years.
The AMD can have two forms: atrophic AMD (also referred to as non-neovascular or dry) and exudative AMD (also referred to as neovascular or wet). The AMD usually starts in the atrophic form (90% of the cases) and seldom (10% of the cases) in the exudative from. In some patients the atrophic AMD can evolve into the exudative form.
The exudative AMD is caused by the uncontrolled growth of pathologic new vessels under the retina, a process known as pathologic neoangiogenesis.