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Renu A. Kowluru, Qing Zhong; Beyond AREDS: Is There a Place for Antioxidant Therapy in the Prevention/Treatment of Eye Disease?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(12):8665-8671. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-6768.
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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the major cause of blindness in adults (65 years of age and older), and diabetic retinopathy, the major cause of blindness in working adults, are chronic, progressive diseases with multifaceted etiologies that are not fully understood. Progression and lack of treatment of both diseases may lead to the advanced stage with neovascularization. Although the detailed cellular mechanisms leading to the development of AMD and diabetic retinopathy remain elusive, oxidative damage to the retina and its pigment epithelium are considered to be involved. Clinical studies have shown that the progression of AMD can be slowed down by nutritional antioxidants, but trials with antioxidants for diabetic retinopathy (very limited in number) have been inconclusive. Long-term administration of the AREDS antioxidants, the same nutritional antioxidants that have been demonstrated to slow the progression of AMD, have yielded exciting results in preventing the pathogenesis of retinopathy in diabetic rodents. These results suggest the merit of testing the AREDS antioxidants in a clinical trial to prevent the development and/or progression of diabetic retinopathy, with the possibility of reducing the impact of this common vision-threatening disease.
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