Elevated inflammatory marker may be linked to increased risk of age-related eye disease

Oct 08, 2007

High blood levels of C-reactive protein, a substance linked to inflammation, appear to be associated with an increased risk for age-related macular degeneration, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Age-related macular degeneration or aging macula disorder (AMD) occurs when the macula, the area at the back of the retina involved in sharp vision, deteriorates over time. Inflammation appears to play a role in the development of AMD, according to background information in the article. Proteins associated with inflammation, such as fibrinogen and C-reactive protein, have been found in drusen—the white deposits below the retina that are a hallmark of AMD.

Sharmila S. Boekhoorn, M.D., Ph.D., of the Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues examined C-reactive protein levels in 4,914 individuals at risk for AMD. At the initial examination, conducted between 1990 and 1993, blood samples were collected and photographs were taken of the retina. Three additional examinations were conducted over an average of 7.7 years.

During this time, 658 individuals were diagnosed with AMD, including 561 with early (initial stage) AMD and 97 with late (more advanced) AMD. As an individual’s C-reactive protein level increased above the median (midpoint) of the study population, he or she became more likely to develop AMD.

“Evidence is accumulating that inflammatory and immune-associated pathways have a role in other degenerative diseases associated with advancing age, such as atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease,” the authors write. “Drusen components have been found in atherosclerotic plaques and deposits in Alzheimer’s disease, and AMD, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease may partly share a similar inflammatory pathogenesis.”

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: What are the chances that your dad isn't your dad?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

How kids' brain structures grow as memory develops

Our ability to store memories improves during childhood, associated with structural changes in the hippocampus and its connections with prefrontal and parietal cortices. New research from UC Davis is exploring ...

Gate for bacterial toxins found

Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Aktories and Dr. Panagiotis Papatheodorou from the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Freiburg have discovered the receptor responsible ...

Adventurous bacteria

To reproduce or to conquer the world? Surprisingly, bacteria also face this problem. Theoretical biophysicists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have now shown how these organisms should ...