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K.E. Schmid, C. Glittenberg, M. Cezanne, K. Holzmann, R. Zimmer, B. Neumaier–Ammerer, S. Binder; Daytime Levels of Melatonin in Patients with AMD . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):5910.
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Melatonin (MT) is a hormone which acts as an antioxidant and is released in darkness. MT is produced by the pineal gland and in the retina. The purpose of this prospective study was to examine if MT daytime levels differ between patients with age–related macular degeneration (AMD) and healthy subjects of the same age.
69 patients, both male and female, of > 60 years of age, were included in the study. All patients were pseudophakic on both eyes. The study group (n = 50) had different forms of AMD, which were documented clinically and in fluorescein angiography (FA). The control group (n = 19) had no retinal pathologies. Patients were recruited over a period of one year. Blood samples were taken once from every patient between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. MT values were measured by ELISA testing. An informed consent was signed.
Patients with AMD had significantly higher day time levels of MT than the control group (p = 0,003). A seasonal correlation with MT levels was also found (r = 0,42, p < 0,01).
These data indicate that patients with AMD produced more MT during the day, compared to patients of the same age without AMD. This may be due to retinal block of light by the AMD, thereby imitating darkness and allowing MT secretion to continue during the day. Because MT acts as an antioxidant, a greater MT production might be interpreted as rescue factor.
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