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October 31, 2013
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Macula Risk genetic testing offered in Grass Valley

A group of local optometrists are now offering Macula Risk genetic testing to patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Doctors Jerry Chan, Lisa Moon and Stephanie Kirschbaum are now offering the testing to patients with age-related macular degeneration at their Sierra College Drive location in Grass Valley.

Macula Risk identifies which patients with AMD are most likely to progress to advanced disease with vision loss.

AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in older adults in the Western world, affecting more than 25 million in the U.S. It is a progressive disease that if left untreated, can result in irreversible damage to a patient’s central vision.

Treatments are available, but too often, the disease fails to be diagnosed or treated until it is too late to save vision.

This practice is taking a stand against vision loss from AMD by encouraging routine eye examinations and by performing Macula Risk testing on patients with early signs of disease, which can usually be detected in the back of the eye long before patients experience any visual symptoms.

Macula Risk is a simple cheek swab test that determines whether a patient has inherited any of the genes associated with AMD progression.

This information is combined with important nongenetic risk factors, including age, BMI, smoking history and AMD status, to calculate the patient’s likelihood of progressing to advanced AMD within two, five and 10 years.

The test is covered by most insurers, including Medicare, for patients with a diagnosis of early or intermediate AMD.

To learn more about AMD genetic testing or to schedule an appointment, call 530-273-3190. Information about the Macula Risk test is available at

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The Union Updated Nov 7, 2013 10:23AM Published Nov 7, 2013 10:23AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.