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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area. His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM. His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

Dr. Smith has adopted audio and video podcasting as conduits for HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE. Based on the latest medical, health, and wellness literature these reports provide practical information you can use to keep yourself and your family healthy. Many reports have video versions, and Dr. Smith’s YouTube Channel may be found at:

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.  He is now based in New York City.

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Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only. Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Oct 30, 2021




Those taking the antidepressant drug fluoxetine, branded as Prozac, have a significantly reduced risk of developing progressive age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in those over the age of 50.  Researchers at the University of Virginia analyzed data from two health insurance databases covering more than 100 million persons after first studying the process leading to AMD and blindness in a mouse model.


The investigators, studying a group of already FDA approved drugs in the lab, showed that fluoxetine uniquely inhibits the inflammatory process leading to retinal degeneration due to its binding with an inflammatory molecule NLRP3-ASC.  Armed with this laboratory data, they wanted to see if fluoxetine conferred any clinical benefits for patients with AMD.  


Using insurance databases that pinpointed those over the age of 50 with AMD who were taking Prozac and those who were not, analysis revealed that taking fluoxetine significantly slowed the AMD degenerative process.  Based on these results, the UVA ophthalmologists are looking forward to a clinical trial of fluoxetine in AMD patients.


#amd #maculardegeneration #blindness #fluoxetine #prozac