AMD:: A problem of inflammation as well as age

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common sight disorder, affecting around 15 million Americans and 5 million Britons. As its name suggests, it’s always been associated with the ageing process, and is usually seen in people over the age of 60.
It’s just one of those things that can happen when you get older, and medicine can’t do much about it, or so the conventional wisdom goes. Once it’s been diagnosed, the disease is progressive and will eventually destroy the centre of the retina, or macula, eventually causing blindness.
But new research has thrown a different light on the problem. Three separate studies have discovered that the disease is caused by a gene variant, known as complement factor H (CFH), and that it’s as much to do with inflammation as with ageing.
Scientists reckon that the gene theory alone could explain up to half of all cases, but perhaps the more useful discovery is that the disease is an inflammatory one.
With this knowledge, we can now view AMD as a treatable condition. Nutritionists have been suggesting as much for years now, and have come up with a cocktail of high levels of antioxidants and zinc that can reduce the risk of the disease by a quarter.
Sufferers can also slow the progress of the disease by stopping smoking, losing weight and reducing fat intake.

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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