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See a Better Tomorrow:
BrightFocus' Macular Degeneration Research Highlights


Blocking Stress In Retinal Cells

Dr. Scott PlafkerDr. Scott Plafker

Cells in the eye that are essential for vision can be damaged or killed by different types of stress, including bright light. The loss of these cells causes a decrease in visual acuity and can ultimately cause loss of vision. These same cells have a defense system to protect themselves against stress. The main component of this defense system is a protein called Nrf2. This project is aimed at increasing the function of Nrf2 to help protect eyes from stress-induced damage. This research helped Dr. Plafker obtain funding from NIH, thereby providing the groundwork to receive future grants to further explore this innovative work. Read more about Dr. Plafker's research.

Delaying the Onset of Macular Degeneration Using Natural Compounds

Dr. Md Nawajes Mandal Dr. Md Nawajes Mandal

Natural anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds from broccoli, turmeric, and honeybee propolis are now being explored as potential nutritional supplements that may delay the onset of age-related macular degeneration. Preliminary findings from laboratory studies with retinal cells show that curcumin (a component of turmeric) and CAPE (a component of honeybee propolis) show promise as having a beneficial effect in delaying the onset of this eye disease. Read more about Dr. Mandal's research.

Structure-Function Correlation in Macular Degeneration

Dr. Hendrik Scholl Dr. Hendrik Scholl

Scientists are constructing an exact point-by-point structure-function correlation of the abnormal processes that occur in the central retina, which may offer unique insights in the mechanisms underlying macular disease. This, in turn, may provide a monitoring tool for any type of therapeutic intervention for macular degeneration. Read more about Dr. Scholl's research project and learn about some of the latest developments in age-related macular degeneration research and treatments.

Modified Vitamin A: Step Towards a Clinical Trial to Prevent Vision Loss in Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Stargardt Disease

Dr. Ilyas WashingtonDr. Ilyas Washington

A modified form of vitamin A may help prevent vision loss due to dry age-related macular degeneration and a juvenile form of macular degeneration called Stargardt disease. This potential treatment developed by Dr Washington and colleagues can reduce or eliminate the formation of damaging, clumpy deposits (called dimers) of vitamin A that are associated with the onset of these degenerative eye diseases.When given to mice with the same genetic defect as humans with Stargardt disease, the modified vitamin A resulted in fewer vitamin A dimers, better overall eye health, and improved vision. Importantly, the modified vitamin A worked exactly as normal vitamin A, making it an attractive potential therapy for preventing blindness in humans. Read more about Dr. Washington's research.

See a Better Tomorrow

Last Review: 08/22/13


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