RANZCO report into AMD lifestyle factors
The area of AMD research and treatment is growing and changing at a fast pace. Retina specialist Dr. Dianne Sharpe recently outlined current knowledge of the mechanism of wet and dry AMD at the recent annual conference for Australian and New Zealand Opthalmologists and Opthalmic Nurses in Hamilton, 24-27 May.
Dianne's message for RANZCO delegates was that although some people may have one or more genetic factors which make them predisposed to AMD, positive lifestyle choices can play a large part in disease prevention. The genetic factors explain in part why high does supplements are not recommended unless there is evidence of disease.
It is recognised that the development of AMD is dependent on a variety of factors including age, environment and genes. She described the biochemical interactions and feedback systems present within the retina and the twelve genes which are known to play a part in susceptibility to developing AMD, highlighting that these are variants not mutations. However, the effect of these variant genes can be influenced by lifestyle behaviours.
Dianne illustrated how negative lifestyle choices such as smoking and/or high intake of saturated fats positively feeds into the biochemical reactions which create inflammation and the environment for the development of AMD and vision loss. She also showed how exercise, Omega 3 and vitamins can play a part in interrupting the damaging cycle and reinforcing the healthy cascade of intracellular processes.
Macular Degeneration NZ has current information available on their website www.mdnz.co.nz