|Age related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of loss of
vision in aging Caucasian Americans. It effects reading and driving vision and a
persons sense of independence. It effects one out of three people over the age of
75. That is about 10 million people. It is three times more common than glaucoma and
perhaps thirty times more common than RP. Up to recently the dry form of this disorder has
been untreatable.The good news is that our preliminary pilot study data indicate that age
related macular degeneration can be stabilized and 9 out 10 patients
it was reversed .
In ARMD, cells that help us see in the central part of the retina called the macular
degenerate as one gets older. A variety of factors including genetic, dietary and
environmental factors such as exposure to blue light are believed to be involved. There is
no doubt that smoking has a significant impact on getting ARMD. Understanding the dietary
factors are exciting (JAOA 1996, 67(1) 6-49). Not only because they help us understand the
cause of the disease but because they can be part of the treatment After eight treatments with MD-Amylox® 9 of 10 patients have
There are 2 types of ARMD: dry and wet. The dry is more common and represents a slow
degradation of central vision. The wet form is less common involving perhaps one in ten
patients and may involve bleeding in the eye. Our research focused on the most common dry
form, but may be helpful to those with the wet form as well.
At first there are few symptoms in ARMD. That is why it is important to see an optometrist
or ophthalmologist yearly. As the disease develops, a patient may experience an inability
to see objects clearly; might see distortions of images, such as lines that appear wavy or
crooked; empty areas in the center of their vision; and even more subtle symptoms such as
an inability to distinguish contrast, see well in the dark, or an ability to recover from
glare. We have compiled tests that look for these signs of ARMD at its earliest stage when
prevention and treatment are
possible. Testing has begun and advanced cases with great success.
Our research on ARMD has been ongoing for over four years. We have been learning more and
more about the disorder. Our most recent results although preliminary demonstrate that
ARMD if caught early is preventable. Dietary factors can clearly make a difference.
They perform better on tests and in seven of eight cases we have documented partial or
complete resolution of holes in vision (scotomas) or central distortion (metamorphopsia).
There appears to be hope for treatment of this disorder and we must continue on in all
aspects of research, both basic and clinical leading to the eradication of this disease.