Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss among the elderly, is also linked to Alzheimer’s disease. A study has revealed that the proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease can accumulate in the retina and damage it. The researchers are hopeful their findings can work to improve treatment methods.
Using both cell cultures and mouse models, the scientists analyzed how quickly amyloid-beta proteins (associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease) entered the retina and how much damage they caused.
The researchers found that the amyloid-beta proteins enter the retina within 24 hours of exposure and then start breaking the cellular scaffold structures.
Dr. Ratnayaka added, “The speed in which these proteins entered the retinal cells was unexpected. These findings have given some insights into how a normal healthy retina can switch to a diseased AMD retina. We hope that this could lead to designing better treatments for patients in the future.”
The researchers’ next step is evaluating how amyloid-beta proteins enter the retina and examining how the damage occurs.
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