The Role of Macular Pigment in Patients With Age-related Macular Degeneration


In the industrialised world age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause for legal blindness beyond the age of 50 years. Recent studies indicate that the amount and status of the macular pigment (MP) may play a central role in the development and progression of the disease. It has been demonstrated that the MP density can be increased by dietary supplementation. First results of MP density measurements with a modified confocal laser scanning ophthalmoscope show that this method allows to quantify the MP in a clinical setting. The aim of this study is to assess the peak MP density as well as the MP distribution in relation to the risk for ARMD. We will establish reference values for MP density distribution in a normal population and compare these to values obtained from patients with age related maculopathy in a cross-sectional study. For all MP density measurements we will use a modified scanning laser ophthalmoscope and dietary intake of macular pigment will be assessed using a Food Frequency Questionnaire. Clinical examinations will include ETDRS visual acuity, binocular ophthalmoscopy, colour fundus photography and autofluorescence imaging. The results of our study will help assess the relationship of macular pigment density and distribution with ARMD. Additionally, we will be able to identify patients with low MP density, and probably improve the early diagnosis of patients at high risk for developing ARMD. This will be the basis for dietary supplementation of lutein and/or zeaxanthin in patients with high risk for ARMD due to low macular pigment values.

Study Type

  • Study Type: Observational
  • Study Design
    • Time Perspective: Prospective
  • Study Primary Completion Date: December 2010

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Incidence of development of late AMD
    • Time Frame: End of study

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • age related maculopathy

Exclusion Criteria

  • other macular diseases

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 50 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University Hospital Inselspital, Berne
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Sebastian Wolf, Director – University Hospital Inselspital, Berne
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Sebastian Wolf, MD, Principal Investigator, University of Bern
    • Sebastian Wolf, MD PhD, Study Director, University of Bern

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