Macular degeneration research using rodents as test subjects has been limited because rodents do not have a macula, which presents limitations in what can be learned. In order to overcome this obstacle, Dr. Stephen Tsang at Columbia Universitycreated a human model of AMD. Using skin cells from two people who had a high risk of developing AMD, Dr. Tsang reprogrammed them to become Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). Dr. Tsang was then able to manipulate the iPSC into becoming retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, which are the cells that suffer serious damage in macular degeneration. By treating the RPE cells with blue light and a substance known as A2E, Dr. Tsang was able to simulate the aging process. This same process was then used to create RPE cells from two people who were at low risk of AMD. What Dr. Tsang discovered was that the antioxidant activity in the RPE cells with the high risk of AMD was greatly reduced when made vulnerable to the aging process. However in the low-risk RPE cells, the antioxidative power remained. Dr. Tsang's study stresses the importance of antioxidative therapies such as those found in AREDS 2 supplements. VisiVite offers macular degeneration formulas with these critical antioxidants. VisiVite AREDS2 plus Gold is the formula of choice for patients who have a family history of AMD. For patients who do not have a diagnosis of macular degeneration but do have a family history of the disease, VisiVite Balanced Ocular Support is the recommended formula.
Researchers successfully create human model of AMD using skin cells
- by Dr. Paul Krawitz
- 17 March, 2014