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Geoffrey B. Arden, Janet E. Wolf; Differential Effects of Light and Alcohol on the Electro-oculographic Responses of Patients with Age-Related Macular Disease. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(7):3226-3232. doi: 10.1167/iovs.02-0998.
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purpose. Alcohol (EtOH) affects the electro-oculogram (EOG) in ways very similar to light, although the two agents act on the RPE through different routes. Are the EOGs to light and to alcohol affected similarly in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and age-related maculopathy (ARM)?
methods. Standard eye movements and recording of EOGs were used. After 26 minutes of baseline recording in darkness, subjects were either exposed to 30 cd/m2 light or drank 226 mg/kg alcohol (7.1% vol/vol) in water.
results. In 17 patients with ARM and AMD (aged 67–86 years; mean, 77), the light-EOG was slowed in comparison to normal, and the voltage changes were somewhat reduced. The mean reduction in the alcohol-EOG (EtOH-EOG) was much greater. The reduction was equal in the two eyes, regardless of uniocular foveal impairment. Some EtOH-EOG loss occurred in patients with minor fundus changes and no loss of acuity, but the loss was greater in patients with “wet” or “dry” ARM and AMD. Grading of RPE changes correlated with the decrease in EtOH-EOG responsiveness, but not with light-EOG responsiveness.
conclusions. EtOH- and light-EOGs are affected differentially. In ARM, even with minor fundus changes, patients appear to have a general abnormality in the RPE. The alcohol response abnormality is correlated to the fundus appearance, but not with age. These results provide further evidence that EtOH acts by a pathway different from that governing the action of light. These results support histologic and other evidence that in ARM there is a functional barrier between the choroid and the RPE-retina.
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