Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Paulus T.V.M. de Jong, M.D., Ph.D.

Since 1874, when it was first described in the medical literature as “symmetrical central choroido-retinal disease occurring in senile persons, age-related macular degeneration has also been referred to as senile, or diskiform, macular degeneration, among many other terms. About 25 years ago, the term “age-related maculopathy” was coined and its end stage was acknowledged as age-related macular degeneration. In this review, I use the commonly accepted agerelated macular degeneration, although I have reservations about its appropriateness.
After briefly describing the clinical features of age-related macular degeneration, I turn to the physiology of the aging macula and to mechanisms implicated in the cause. Reviews of treatment and detailed ocular data can be found elsewhere.