Can a blood test tell if a patient has AMD?

New research from Mass Eye and Ear says it can.
Researchers obtained blood samples from 90 patients with AMD (30 with early AMD, 30 with intermediate AMD, and 30 with late AMD) and 30 controls. They measured the metabolites in the plasma and found that patients with AMD had significantly different metabolites than those without AMD.
Tell me about the metabolites.
There were 87 metabolites, mostly lipids, that were different in the control group vs. the AMD group. Of those 87, almost half of them were significantly different across the different stages of AMD. So, theoretically a blood sample could even tell what stage of AMD a patient is in.
Why is that good to know?
Because this information could help us better understand the pathway of disease progression, would allow us to intervene sooner for subtle AMD cases, and have more targeted treatment options. The authors state, “we believe this work will help launch the era of personalized medicine in the treatment of AMD”.
The research was published last week in Ophthalmology.  (via)