American research has led to clues that reveal the causes of Age related macular degeneration (AMD).
New tracks that reveal the causes of Age related macular degeneration (AMD)
Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the United States, but discoveries about the role of diet, genetic factors and immune respons provide clues to the new kind of prevention and treatment measures. AMD can destroy the central, detailed part of vision that we need for reading, driving, face recognition and enjoyment in everyday life.
March is AMD Month and The American Academy of Ophthalmology, together with the American Society of Retina Specialists, Macula Society and The Retina Society encourages Americans to get acquainted with the risks of the appearance of AMD. ˝ We have a greater understanding of AMD than before˝, said Janet S. Sunness, Medical Director of the Hoover Services for Low Vision and Blindness, Baltimore, Maryland, and academic clinical correspondent. ˝ We see exciting clinical and research progress, but recognition of AMD at an earlier stage is still the best way to preserve vision. People should know the risks in order to preserve their eyesight. ˝
As part of the EyeSmart campaign, Academy and Eyecare America, the public Program Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, recommend that adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease make a detailed review around their 40th year of life when there could appear early signs of disease and the changes in vision. Based on the results of detailed examination ophthalmologist will prescribe the necessary intervals for further examinations. For individuals who have symptoms or risk of occurrence of the disease because of family history of eye disease, the Academy recommends that individuals visit the ophthalmologist to determine how often they will need to check their eyes. One of the best ways to reduce the incidence of AMD risk is to quit smoking, because they have twice the risk than non-smokers.
The nutritional supplements are disclosed as useful: the first study of age related macular degeneration (AREDS 1) of 4,000 people revealed that progression to advanced disease among people at high risk has been reduced by 25% when subjects were given a high-dose combination of antioxidants and zinc. Optical doctors recommend this supplement formula to their AMD patients when appropriate. These supplements can strengthen the ability of the lens membrane in the eye retina to more easily submit oxidative stress, a probable factor in the development of AMD. In the second study, AREDS researchers now combined lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids in extensive studies to reduce the risk of AMD. Both projects were sponsored by AREDS National Institute of Health. Eating fruits and vegetables like red peppers and spinach – food full of antioxidants offer many health benefits and safe protection from AMD.
The new model, which perceives a specific type of uncontrolled immune response is an important fact in the development and progression of AMD, and is built from a multitude of genetic and ophthalmic research. Model should shed light on the progress in AMD treatments and genetic susceptibility tests In some degenerative diseases-including Alzhimer, atherosclerosis and AMD in the early stages are marked by abnormal deposits in the lens that begins to interfere with the normal functioning. In AMD, these deposits are called pigmental epithelial cells and contain proteins that together lead to inflammation and other immunological reactions.
Four independent research groups have recently discovered that variations in three genes are associated with immune response and also with AMD. Several research groups have confirmed that the two of these genetic variants are appearing in 75% of AMD cases in North American and European populations. Another study, by Margaret Pericak-Vance, PhD, Duke University, and Jonathan Haines PhD, Vanderbilt University show that the risk factor and genetic variant interact: the risk of AMD is increased eight times by the study participants who were smokers and had a version LOC387715.
The disease has two forms, called „dry“ and ˝ wet“ form. In the early, „dry“ phase, yellow deposits develop oid retina, but most people do not have changes in their vision. Patients with more and bigger epitel cells and bigger pigmental changes in the center of the retina or macula are considered to have AMD intermedia and are riskier for „dry˝ and ˝wet“ AMD. Most of those with AMD intermedia do not reach advanced stages, but should be controlled by eye doctors to provide timely treatment if needed.
Advanced AMD can occur in „dry“ and ˝wet“ form. Once dry form reaches the advanced stage, with blind points in the center of the visual field, neither medical or surgical treatment is possible although the patient can be helped with technology for poor vision including enhanced lighting and magnifires to maintain the quality of life. In the wet form, it leads to relaxation of the membrane on the tissue of nerves in places where they are damaged so it comes to the penetration of liquids and proteins, or bleeding. This causes loss of central vision. Only 10% of the 10-15 million Americans with AMD have ˝wet“ form, but until two years ago, it was most responsible for vision loss. New, highly effective treatments such as injective medications such as ranibisumab and bevacisumab drastically reduce the damage from „wet“ AMD: the vision stabilizes in over 90% of patients and is improved in more than 30%.