AlzU Blog

Age Related Eye Disorders in Seniors with Alzheimer's Disease-Part I

If you are a caregiver for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), you may be interested to learn about recent studies on age related macular degeneration- the most common cause of vision impairment and blindness in older adults. The worst part about the disorder is that there is no cure.  Once an elderly person has macular degeneration, it progressively gets worse. 

Risk factors for macular degeneration

•poor diet
•lack of exercise
•high blood pressure
•overweight or obesity

A few years ago a study was done with some very encouraging findings for those with this incurable eye disorder.  The studies showed that a specific regime of nutritional supplements could actually help to slow down the progression of the disease.  There was quite a bit of interest stirred up; as a result of the study nutrition supplement companies across the country jumped on the band wagon to offer new products for vision protection.  But according to ophthalmologist, Ingrid Scott, at Penn State College of Medicine, buyers should utilize caution when purchasing these products. 

A new, more recent study was performed on the efficacy of several products claiming to slow down the progression of macular degeneration.  The study was called AREDS-Age Related Eye Disease Study.  It was conducted by The National Eye Institute.  The study found that the right formula containing vitamin C and E, zinc oxide and beta carotene, with a small amount of copper could actually slow the progression of the disease by 25% over a period of 6 years.  “But the benefits of the nutrients only apply to certain stages of the disease,” Dr. Scott stated. “The formula could slow the progression in patients with either intermediate age-related macular degeneration or with advanced macular degeneration in only one eye,” says Scott.

Only those individuals in the study with more severe forms of the disease realized results from the supplements.  The nutritional supplement formula didn’t cure or prevent the disease. See part II of this article to find out more about study findings and efficacy of over the counter supplements for macular degeneration.

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