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Age-related macular degeneration and the aging eye

Authors Ehrlich R, Harris A, Kheradiya NS, Winston DM, Ciulla TA, Wirostko B

Published 12 September 2008 Volume 2008:3(3) Pages 473—482


Rita Ehrlich1, Alon Harris1, Nisha S Kheradiya1, Diana M Winston1, Thomas A Ciulla3, Barbara Wirostko2

1Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, Indianapolis, IN, USA; 2Stony Brook University Medical Center Research Way, Department of Ophthalmology, Stony Brook, NY, USA; 3Retina Service, Midwest Eye Institute, Attending Physician and Surgeon, Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Abstract: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an ocular disease that causes damage to the retinal macula, mostly in the elderly. Normal aging processes can lead to structural and blood flow changes that can predispose patients to AMD, although advanced age does not inevitably cause AMD. In this review, we describe changes that occur in the macular structure, such as the retinal pigment epithelium and Bruch’s membrane, with advancing age and in AMD. The role of genetics in AMD and age-related changes in ocular blood flow that may play a role in the pathogenesis of AMD are also discussed. Understanding the pathophysiology of AMD development can help guide future research to further comprehend this disease and to develop better treatments to prevent its irreversible central vision loss in the elderly.

Keywords: age-related macular degeneration, aging, blood flow, eye, retina, macula, vision

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