Omega-3 May Slow Down Retinitis Pigmentosa Progression

February 20, 2012

A report published Online First by Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals, reveals that adults with retinitis pigmentosa showed slower decline in annual rates of distance and retinal visual acuities by consuming a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids. 

Results from the study revealed that the mean (average) annual rate of decline in distance visual acuity was 40% slower among participants who consumed a diet high in long-chain _-3 fatty acids (≥0.20 g/d), compared with participants whose diet was low in omega-3 fatty acids. 

In a previous study, the team revealed that dietary omega-3 intake had an effect on retaining central visual field sensitivity. They found that individuals receiving _-3 intake of at least 0.20 g/d, in conjunction with vitamin A palmitate, 15,000 IU/d had nearly a 50% slower rate of decline in central visual field sensitivity than patients receiving a lower omega-3 intake and the same dose of vitamin A.



Judi Dench unable to read scripts due to Macular Degeneration

February 20, 2012

Dame Judi Dench has revealed she can no longer read scripts due to her suffering from a degenerative condition that can lead to blindness.



The actor, 77,  said she also cannot make out a person sitting opposite her at the dinner table because of the effects of macular degeneration, an eye condition that causes severe vision impairment.

Dench has undergone treatment that she hopes will stop the progression of the condition, which her mother also suffered from, and allow her to continue working.

She has just finished Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a film about pensioners retiring in India, which is released next week and is now filming Skyfall, the latest James Bond film.

Dench said that she learns scripts with the help of friends. “And so somebody comes in and reads them to me, like telling me a story. It’s usually my daughter or my agent or a friend and actually I like that, because I sit there and imagine the story in my mind,” she told the Mirror.

Macular degeneration is a disease that is common in people over 60 and is caused by the inflammation of part of the retina. Sufferers maintain peripheral vision but the centre of their sight is damaged, making watching television and reading difficult.

“The most distressing thing is in a restaurant in the evening I can’t see the person I’m having dinner with,” said Dench.

The actor is determined to do everything she can to lead a normal life. “You get used to it. I’ve got lenses and glasses and things and very bright light helps,” she said. “I can do a crossword if it’s bright sunshine but if a cloud comes out the next minute I can’t see anything.”

She plans to buy a digital book reader that can increase the size of text.

“I’m going to try that and I love talking books, too, because my daughter has done lots and Michael did masses of them, too.”