A recent study published in the journal Science indicates that a new molecular mechanism that may cause age-related macular degeneration.
Researchers were examining why some people with a genetic predisposition develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD) while others with the genetic predisposition do not.
Previous research has helped scientists understand the genes responsible for AMD but little was understood as to what triggers the disease to develop.
The immune system in the eye of someone with AMD becomes aggressive and dysregulated. Stressors such as the excess fat in obesity can also activate immune cells. Obesity is second only to smoking as being a non-genetic risk factor for developing AMD.
Obesity leads to persistent changes in the DNA architecture within immune cells, which makes them more prone to producing inflammatory molecules.
These latest study findings will hopefully allow researchers to develop more specialized treatments in the future.