Antioxidants preserve vision in retina disease

February 18, 2009

Consumption of antioxidants may enable retinal degeneration patients to preserve vision even while vascular abnormalities continue to exist, concluded a study published online ahead of print by the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Consumption of antioxidants may enable retinal degeneration patients to preserve vision even while vascular abnormalities continue to exist, concluded a study published online ahead of print by the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Professor Martin Friedlander, MD, PhD of Scripps Research Institute, US and colleagues examined mice with dysfunctional VLDL receptors, which imitate abnormal retinal neovascularisation associated with death of the photoreceptor cells in humans. Such symptoms are associated with conditions such as retinal angiomatous proliferation (RAP) and macular telangiectasia (MacTel).

The team found that abnormalities of the intraretinal vasculature and associated neuronal cell death were correlated with increased oxidative stress markers; there oxidative stress markers were mediated either by nutritional antioxidant supplements or by targeted topical antioxidant delivery, although the presence of antioxidants had no impact on the existing vascular abnormalities.

Therefore the researchers concluded that, by reducing oxidative stress, photoreceptor cells could be preserved and functional vision maintained by RAP and MacTel patients even while retinal vasculature is not improved.