Several lines of evidence point to a systemic role for oxidative stress in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Age and smoking are associated with increasing levels of systemic oxidative stress and oral antioxidant supplements have been shown to slow the progression of the disease. In addition, plasma levels of reactive oxygen species and lipid peroxidation products have been closely associated with AMD, and decreased antioxidant enzyme activity has been reported in AMD patients. Polymorphisms in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and in genes coding for antioxidant enzymes have also been linked to AMD. Oxidative stress and inflammatory mediators have been shown to play a role in AMD, although it is unclear whether inflammation is aggravated by oxidative stress or vice versa. As the interaction between inflammation and oxidative stress may be critical to development and progression of AMD, a combination therapy that reduces systemic changes in redox status and controls local inflammation may be able to prevent or at least slow the development of sight-threatening late-stage disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)