Without research, we cannot progress to find a cure to macular disease
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There is currently no treatment to prevent people with early-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD) from progressing to late-stage age-related macular degeneration and losing their central vision.
Macular disease, including conditions like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy, threatens the vision and quality of life of millions of Australians, young and old. In fact, macular disease is the largest cause of blindness and severe vision loss in Australia.
There is currently no treatment to prevent people with early-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD) from progressing to late-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and losing their central vision. However, high levels of high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, have been reported in several studies to be associated with a higher risk of AMD.
But here’s the ray of hope: research will make a difference. A recently awarded Macular Disease Foundation Australia Research Grant is allowing Dr Carla Abbott of The Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) to investigate the links between lipids and macular disease, potentially paving the way for new treatments and, one day, to find a cure for macular disease.
You’ve probably seen the term ‘good cholesterol’ in the media, but you might not have heard its proper name: high density lipoprotein, or HDL.
HDL is called good cholesterol because it helps to remove bad cholesterol from the body, which protects against heart disease and stroke. However, high levels of HDL have been reported in several studies to be associated with a higher risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Dr Abbott’s research will investigate pathways involved in progression, by improving our understanding of how and why AMD develops — focusing specifically on the role of HDL.
Our Research Grants Program could not exist without the generous contributions of our supporters. And without research there is no hope for a cure to macular disease and to save the sight of millions of Australians, like Fusae.
Fusae lives with early-stage age-related macular degeneration and follows the evidence-based information, including a healthy diet and lifestyle tips, provided to her by Macular Disease Foundation when she was first diagnosed.
Being of Japanese descent, Fusae has always eaten a healthy diet filled with oily fish like salmon and mackerel. Evidence-based health information has supported Fusae to live well with AMD. What she has learnt since being diagnosed is to supplement her current diet with other sources of macula-friendly nutrients like lutein, zeaxanthin, omega 3, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and selenium. Research has shown that a macula-friendly diet can assist in slowing progression of early-stage AMD.
Fusae also exercises daily, waking at 5am to walk 8 kilometres, followed by stretching and meditation. She has joined one of Macular Disease Foundation’s peer support groups and benefits from connecting with other people living with macular disease.
We know that medical research in Australia costs a lot, but not doing it will cost more to people living with macular disease and their loved ones.
Please donate this Christmas so we can continue to fund groundbreaking research, like Dr Abbott’s, to help save the sight of people living with macular disease.
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