Eat Fish and Don't Smoke To Avoid Macular Degeneration
BOSTON. July 2006 - A study of elderly male twins has shown that eating foods rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in fish, could help reduce chances of developing the potentially blinding eye disease of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The same study conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Department of Biostatistics at Harvard Medical School also revealed that both current and past smokers were almost twice as likely to develop AMD, compared with non-smokers.
"This study of twins provides further evidence that cigarette smoking increases risk, while fish consumption and omega-3 fatty acid intake reduce risk of AMD," said associate professor of ophthalmology Johanna M. Seddon, M.D., who also directs the infirmary's epidemiology unit.
Results of the study involving 681 male twins from the National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council World War II Veteran Twin Registry were published in the July 2006 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.[See also our nutrition article on essential fatty acids, including omega-3.]
Lucentis Receives FDA Approval for AMD Treatment
WASHINGTON, June 30, 2006 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in late June 2006 announced approval of Lucentis (Genentech Inc., San Francisco), a major new drug for treatment of advanced, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) that potentially can cause permanent loss of central vision.
In FDA clinical trials leading up to the approval, Lucentis was found to maintain vision in 95% of people receiving regular injections of the drug. Vision was actually improved in one-third of people who received Lucentis treatments, a significant finding for an eye disease that to-date has had no known cure. Lucentis is a treatment for the "wet" form of AMD, caused by abnormal blood vessel growth in the inner back of the eye (retina) where vision processing occurs.
Genentech announced in San Francisco that shipments of Lucentis for treatment of macular degeneration patients would begin June 30, 2006, the day of the FDA approval.
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