Macular Degeneration Research
Johanna Seddon, M.D.
Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary
Title: Biological Factors for Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Duration: April 1, 2002 - March 31, 2003
Award Type: Standard
Award Amount: $42,362
The objective of this study is to test whether known biological markers of inflammation are correlated with the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Dr. Seddon hypothesizes that AMD is mediated, at least in part, by the same factors shown to be related to other age-related diseases, like atherosclerosis. These factors include chronic inflammation, oxidative processes and nutritional factors. Dr. Seddon is examining the levels of three inflammatory markers in serum, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor. She will measure the level of these factors in the serum of 474 patients from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), sponsored by the National Eye Institute, and correlate them to the progression of AMD. Identifying circulating risk factors for AMD may constitute a useful means for screening for AMD in a clinical setting. It is also hoped that the identification of modifiable risk factors can lead to improved therapies and a possible prevention of this disease.