Researchers in the US have revealed they are at work on a new cure for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the leading causes of blindness on the planet.
According to specialists at Columbia University Medical Center, slowing down the build up of vitamin A in the eye could help to prevent vision loss caused by AMD.
Vitamin A undergoes a series of chemical transformations in the eye when enabling vision, which often allows the vitamin to react with another molecule and form clumpy deposits which have been associated with AMD for many years.
However, now a team led by Ilyas Washington, a professor in the department of ophthalmology at Columbia"s Harkness Eye Institute, have synthesised a modified vitamin A drug which incorporates the hydrogen isotope deuterium rather than protonium at select positions.
By feeding this new vitamin A drug to healthy mice, the experts were able to reduce the amount of vitamin A deposits without any noticeable side-effects, which could eventually help to reduce the risk of and stop the condition in its tracks.
Meanwhile, a recent study published in the journal Archives of Ophthalmology suggested that increased intake of vitamin D could help prevent older people from developing AMD.
by Emily Tait