Calciumized nodules occurring in the retina are associated with advancement with the late stages associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Experts from the Belfast of the Fifth University in collaboration with the Birmingham University of Alabama and in collaboration with British material scientists and US clinical ophthalmic practices made a groundbreaking observation that the retinal calcified nodules – thin tissue layer behind the eye – increases the risk of advancing to advanced AMD more than six times.
The results may revolutionize people with age-specific macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of vision in the world of older people.
Most AMD patients have no current treatment and irreversible vision disorder has been associated with depression and other health problems.
Experts conducted the study because it is urgent to identify early events that can lead to visual disturbances in order to target these events.
The study was recently published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, (New York) and Srinivas R. Sadda (Los Angeles), as well as the molecular assay of clinical imaging specimens by Dr. Christine Curc's Laboratory at Alabama University of Birmingham (UAB) – the first author Matthew Pilgrim.
The team found that large calcium-based nodules in the retina were associated with the late stages of AMD, especially with the more atrophic form of the disease, which currently has no treatment options. Experts believe that due to further investigation and early intervention, some patients could actually undertake simple measures such as dieting.
Dr. Imre Lengyel, a physician and researcher at the University of Belfast University's Medical School and Biomedicine Faculty, said: "Our research revealed that early changes in the lower eye could lead to the formation of hard mineral deposits, calcium and phosphate, which may contain other types of trace elements such as magnesium.These mineral deposits accumulation is an indicator of irreversible damage to the retina. "
Dr. Curcio, professor of ophthalmology at Alabama University, said: "When we fully understand the underlying causes of these large, damaging nodules, we could design new ways to tackle growth earlier in the disease process than what is currently possible.
The identification of such eye disease progression, especially the retina, may be a diagnostic tool for tracking progression of retinal degeneration to allow ophthalmologists to negotiate their patients more wisely and also to allow for slowing or halting the progression of the disease earlier. "
The first author, Anna CS Tan MD, said: "AMD's management is costly but also cure or institutionalized. AMD's global burden is estimated to cost over $ 300 billion globally." G Pilgrim continues: "Thus, the progress of AMD is delayed or better, minimizes or eliminates risk factors, can lead to a significant reduction in healthcare payers, individuals and society."
Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, DuPont Guerry III, Professor of Ophthalmology, and Director of the Advanced Vision Science Center at the University of Virginia, said: "This work greatly contributes to the field and encourages thinking of AMD."
The next step in the study group is to further understand the disease processes caused by this degeneration. The team's goal is to help patients identify new therapeutic options that can be as simple as dietary changes. The study also allows ophthalmologists to report their patients more fully on the details of clinical imaging.