Articles

Treatment of macular degeneration, according to Bangerter.

Author

Teichmann KD.

Date

10/1997

Journal

Eur J Med Res

Abstract

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of visual loss among elderly patients. Although some risk factors have been determined, the ultimate cause of the disease is not known. For a long time, therapeutic nihilism has been the rule among ophthalmologists confronted with such patients. Bangerter has not shared this attitude, especially since the time that he incidentally discovered, more than 40 years ago, the beneficial effects of radiotherapy, in discouraging the growth of new vessels at the posterior pole of the eye. A variety of approaches are combined and used by Bangerter in the treatment of the different types of AMD, including retrobulbar injections of either vasodilating medications (in the dry - or atrophic - type) or corticosteroids (in the wet - or exudative - type), general medical measures aimed at improving metabolic and vascular functions such as supplementation with trace elements, antioxidants, and vitamins; ozone therapy; advice to increase physical fitness, improve nutrition, and abstain from smoking; and protection from excessive light exposure. Being convinced of the usefulness of his type of combination treatment, he has always rejected undertaking controlled clinical trials, of only single aspects of the therapy, as unethical and invalid. For this reason, scientific journals have not proven cooperative in several attempts at publishing his results, as collected in retrospective surveys. Recently, however, some of the several approaches combined by Bangerter in treating AMD have been pronounced effective by other investigators. We present here an overview of his treatment approaches, as few people are aware of them, to clear up misconceptions and to set records straight.