Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biomarker For Age-related Macular Degeneration Found

Date:
January 8, 2006
Source:
Harvard Medical School
Summary:
People who have elevated homocysteine in their blood, an amino acid that is a known biomarker for cardiovascular disease, may also be at an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study in the January issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

People who have elevated homocysteine in their blood, an amino acid that is a known biomarker for cardiovascular disease, may also be at an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study in the January issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology. This research was conducted at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Devers Eye Institute in Portland, Ore.

In this largest study of the relationship of this amino acid and AMD, researchers measured the fasting plasma homocystein levels of 934 individuals who were participating in an ancillary study of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study. Five hundred and forty seven people with AMD and 387 control subjects were tested.

"We found that elevated homocysteine in the blood may be another biomarker for increased risk of AMD," said lead author Johanna M. Seddon, MD, director of epidemiology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Seddon is also an associate professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. "Homocysteine can be reduced by dietary intake of vitamins B6, B12, and folate, so the relationship between this amino acid and AMD deserves further study."

Researchers found that median values were higher among people with advanced stages of AMD compared to people without AMD, controlling for age and other factors. Levels considered high in the clinical setting (above 12 mmol/l) were also associated with a higher risk of AMD. Seddon's finding adds to the growing body of evidence that there may be overlapping disease mechanisms between AMD and cardiovascular diseases.

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of irreversible visual impairment and blindness among persons aged 60 and older. With the elderly population steadily growing, the burden related to this loss of visual function will increase. Limited treatment options exist and prevention remains the best approach for addressing this public health concern.

Seddon and colleagues first proposed this potential relationship between homocysteine and AMD in the mid-1990s and published this hypothesis in a review article in 1999. She and her team previously established that smoking and nutrition are modifiable factors associated with the development and progression of AMD. They are now also searching for the genes involved in the etiology of this increasing cause of blindness.

###

This research was funded by grants from the National Institute of Health, the National Eye Institute, Bethesda, MD; the Epidemiology Unit Research Fund of the MEEI, Boston, and the Good Samaritan Foundation, Portland, Ore.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
http://www.meei.harvard.edu
The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, an independent specialty hospital, is an international center for treatment and research and a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

Harvard Medical School
http://hms.harvard.edu/
Harvard Medical School has more than 7,000 full-time faculty working in 10 academic departments housed on the School's Boston quadrangle or in one of 48 academic departments at 18 Harvard teaching hospitals and research institutes. Those Harvard hospitals and research institutions include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, The CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, Children's Hospital Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Forsyth Institute, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Joslin Diabetes Center, Judge Baker Children's Center, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, McLean Hospital, Mount Auburn Hospital, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and the VA Boston Healthcare System.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard Medical School. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Harvard Medical School. "Biomarker For Age-related Macular Degeneration Found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060106133548.htm>.
Harvard Medical School. (2006, January 8). Biomarker For Age-related Macular Degeneration Found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060106133548.htm
Harvard Medical School. "Biomarker For Age-related Macular Degeneration Found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060106133548.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins