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About Macular Telangiectasia (MacTel)

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Macular Telangiectasia type 2 is a disease of the retina, the light-sensing tissue at the back of the eye. MacTel leads to a gradual deterioration of central vision, which becomes noticeable to people around 40 to 50 years of age.

The gradual loss of central vision people experience because of MacTel has a significant impact on quality of life. This is because central vision is required for tasks that require sharp vision, like reading and driving. In MacTel, the quality of a person’s central vision decreases over a period of 10 to 20 years, or more.

Macular Telangiectasia type 2 is a bilateral disease, which means that both eyes are affected. However, the disease does not necessarily affect both eyes equally. It may progress more quickly in one eye than the other. A person with MacTel may see more clearly with one eye than the other. The disease may become apparent earlier in one eye than the other.

MacTel may be an inherited disease. The MacTel Project has studied about 20 families with MacTel to determine the pattern of inheritance, and to look for responsible genes. Between 10-50% of an affected person’s first-degree relatives (parent, sibling, or child) may have MacTel. A “MacTel gene” has not yet been identified. In fact, multiple genes may be involved in the development of MacTel.

eye-anatomyMacular telangiectasia type 2 affects a well-defined area of the retina, which is referred to as the “MacTel zone.” This is an oval-shaped area centered on the fovea. The fovea is contained within the macula, the central area of the retina. The fovea is the focal point for light entering the eye. It is the region of the retina with the highest density of cone photoreceptor cells. Humans rely heavily on the fovea to construct a clear picture of their surroundings. In fact, about half of the nerve fibers traveling from the retina to the brain carry information from the fovea. In the course of MacTel, photoreceptors in and around the fovea die.

In the MacTel eyes that have been donated for research thus far, Müller cells were found to be missing from the MacTel Zone. Müller cells play an important supportive role to photoreceptors in the retina. The cause of their disappearance from the MacTel Zone in patients is still under investigation. We Changes in the retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE), and their function, are also apparent in the course of the disease. Clinically, there is a readily observed change in the retina’s blood vessels; they become dilated and take on new patterns.

These physiological changes, and others, are the subject of LMRI research.

United Kingdom

Moorfields Eye Hospital
London, United Kingdom
Cathy Egan, MD
011 44 20 7566 2262
catherine.egan@moorfields.nhs.uk

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United States

California

Scripps Research Institute
La Jolla, CA USA
Martin Friedlander, MD, PhD
858-784-9138
friedlan@scripps.edu

Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA
Los Angeles, CA USA
Jean-Pierre Hubschman, MD
310-206-5004
hubschman@jsei.ucla.edu

Florida

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami
Miami, FL USA
Philip Rosenfeld, MD
305-326-6538
prosenfeld@med.miami.edu

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Boston, MA USA
Joan Miller, MD
617-578-3257
joan.miller@meei.harvard.edu

Michigan

University of Michigan, Kellogg Eye Center
Ann Arbor, MI USA
Grant Comer, MD
734-763-5906
gcomer@umich.edu

New York

Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital
New York, NY USA
Michael Cooney, MD
212 861-9797
m.cooney@vrmny.com

The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
New York, NY USA
Richard Rosen, MD
212-979-4284
rrosen@nyee.edu

Ohio

Retina Associates of Cleveland, Inc.
Cleveland, OH USA
Lawrence Singerman, MD
216-831-5700
lsingerman@retina-assoc.com

Pennsylvania

Scheie Eye Institute
Philadelphia, PA USA
Alexander Brucker, MD
215-662-8675
ajbrucke@mail.med.upenn.edu

Utah

University of Utah Medical Center
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paul Bernstein, MD, PhD.
801-581-6078
paul.bernstein@hsc.utah.edu

Virginia

The Retina Group of Washington
Fairfax, VA USA
Robert Murphy, MD
703-698-9335
rpmurphy@comcast.net

Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI USA
Barbara Blodi, MD
608-263-6646
bablodi@wisc.edu

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France

Hopital Lariboisiere
Paris, France
Alain Gaudric, MD
011 33 1 4995 2475
alain.gaudric@lrb.aphp.fr

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Germany

Universitats-Augenklinik Bonn
Bonn, Germany
Frank Holz, MD
011 49 228 287 5647
Frank.Holz@ukb.uni-bonn.de

St. Franziskus Hospital
Muenster, Germany
Prof. Daniel Pauleikhoff
dapauleikhoff@muenster.de
Bjorn Padge, MD
011 49-251-93308-0
bjoern@padge.de

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Israel

The Goldschleger Eye Institute
Tel Hashomer, Israel
Joseph Moisseiev, MD
011 972 3 5343462
Joseph.moisseiev@sheba.health.gov.il

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Switzerland

Klinik und Poliklinik fur Augenheilkunde
Inselspita
University of Bern
Bern, Switzerland
Sebastian Wolf, MD, PhD
41 31 6328503
sebastian.wolf@insel.ch

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Australia

Center for Eye Research Australia
Melbourne, Australia
Robyn Guymer, MD
011 61 3 9929 8393
rhg@unimelb.edu.au

Lions Eye Institute
Nedlands, Australia
Ian Constable, MD
011 61 8 9381 0882
ijc@cyllene.uwa.edu.au

Save Sight Institute
Sydney NSW Australia
Mark Gillies, MD, PhD
011 61 412 060 313
mark.gillies@sydney.edu.au

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