Age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness worldwide in the elderly. It is a bilateral ocular condition that impairs the central retina known as the macula.
The macula accounts for the majority of daytime, color vision in humans. Thus, lesions in the macula have a major impact on human vision. Previous studies have suggested that oxidative stress to certain ocular cells may contribute to the development of Age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
‘Oxidative stress to certain ocular cells may contribute to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).’
Oxidative stress occurs when reactive oxygen species (ROS) interact with protein and DNA to modify their functions. In this study, Aryan et al used hydrogen peroxide, a highly reactive compound, to induce oxidative stress in human retinal pigment epithelial cells, a type of ocular cell which provides nourishment for the human retina.
Oxidative stress resulted in a profound influence on advancing the senescence (functional deterioration) of these cells and inhibiting their proliferation. These results strongly suggest that oxidative stress plays a role in the development of AMD in our aging population. Additional studies on the role of antioxidants should provide a new treatment approach for the intervention of AMD in elderly patients.