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Nutrition and AMD - part 1

Stevens, Rebekah; Bartlett, Hannah


Rebekah Stevens
Associate Lecturer - HAS - AHP - UOPA0002

Hannah Bartlett


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of visual impairment and blindness registration in the developed world (figure 1).1 A rapidly ageing population has raised the priority of reducing the risk for age-related eye diseases that impair sight and quality of life. As there are currently 9.7 million people aged 65 and older in the UK and by 2020 one in five UK citizens will be aged 65 or older,2 it is imperative that more AMD research is conducted and additional help is given to those with the condition. Theoretical causes

AMD is a multifactorial degenerative condition. The reasons for the photoreceptor damage and loss is still a matter for debate and on-going research. The current hypotheses involve Bruch’s membrane changes, vascular insufficiency, genetics and oxidative stress.

The eye is particularly susceptible to oxidative damage. Photoreceptors are exposed to an extensive amount of oxidative stress;3 the retina has antioxidant processes to delay or prevent oxidation (the removal of electrons),4 but they also generate activated forms of oxygen known as free radicals (any atom or molecule that has one or more unpaired electron). Free radicals try to become stable by taking electrons from other molecules, thereby damaging them and causing a cytotoxic oxidative chain. Studies have shown that mean plasma levels of oxidative biomarkers appear to be higher in AMD patients than in case-control matches.5


Stevens, R., & Bartlett, H. (2017). Nutrition and AMD - part 1

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 10, 2017
Publication Date Feb 20, 2017
Journal Optician
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords age-related macular degeneration, AMD
Publisher URL