Omega 6:Omega 3 Ratio and Progression of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).


Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation has been shown to prevent specific age-related changes in the retina through biochemical and functional evaluations, but it is unclear whether increased DHA intake-reflected through elevated DHA+EPA blood levels-can affect the natural history and progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a disease affecting the macula, the part of the eye containing cone photoreceptors at the center of the visual field. The macula is responsible for vision in most daily functions, including reading, seeing fine details, and colour recognition. Severe AMD can lead to a central scotoma, severely impairing daily functioning. AMD can be divided into two forms: the more severe wet AMD, consisting of proliferation of new blood vessels in the retina, and dry AMD characterized by the development of drusen, a buildup of extracellular material . The investigators are focused on the group with the highest risk of developing the two advanced forms of AMD [wet AMD or central geographic atrophy]: patients with unilateral wet AMD and dry AMD in their other eye. The study will consist of following up a cohort of such subjects and monitoring their visual function in a comprehensive manner. Working in concert with clinical ophthalmologists and basic scientists, the investigators will monitor "DHA+EPA" and "Omega6:Omega3 fatty acid ratio" levels in the blood, inherited predispositions through genetic analysis, lipofuscin (an accumulated waste product) levels & AMD progression via fundus photography, visual acuity, and retinal function via full-field and multifocal electroretinograms. These different factors will be cross-correlated and evaluated to determine how omega-3 fatty acids affect the progression of AMD.

Full Title of Study: “Effect of Omega-6:Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio on Delaying Progression of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) in Moderate to High Risk Individuals.”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Observational
  • Study Design
    • Time Perspective: Prospective
  • Study Primary Completion Date: March 2014

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Progression of dry AMD status according to international classification/grading system.
    • Time Frame: 2 year

Secondary Measures

  • Delayed progression to neovascular AMD (NVAMD) or Central Geographic Atrophy (cGA) in the fellow eye.
    • Time Frame: 5 years

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • 50+ years of age
  • NVAMD (Wet) in one eye, early or intermediate dry-AMD in the fellow eye
  • taking AREDS vitamins (or equivalent)

Exclusion Criteria

  • Central geographic atrophy
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Ocular surgery in the eye with dry-AMD (not including cataract IOL surgery)
  • Underlying ocular pathology in the eye with dry-AMD (especially glaucoma, dense cataracts, and retinitis pigmentosa)

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 50 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Yves Sauve
  • Collaborator
    • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Sponsor-Investigator: Yves Sauve, PhD, AHFMR Senior Scholar, Ophthalmology Assistant Professor, University of Alberta – University of Alberta
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Yves Sauvé, PhD, Principal Investigator, Department of Ophthalmology


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