Pigment and Macular Degeneration

You might recall recent investigations into the genetics of age-related macular degeneration, as well as the recent discovery of a common genetic root to the condition. Meanwhile, scientists are looking at other common processes in this condition: "Researchers are measuring [a] macular pigment that sits on the retina at the fovea ... This pigment is thought to protect the retina from damage by light and excess oxidation ... It may be that once you go beyond 60, which is the age when macular degeneration typically starts developing, the pigment is depleted for several reasons, including increased oxidative stress and a poor diet, both associated with an increase in age ... It makes biological sense that if you are really deficient in macular pigment that you will get macular degeneration."

Link: http://www.mcg.edu/news/2006NewsRel/NolanSnodderly033106.html

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