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Link between iron overload and macular degeneration under study
Date:6/24/2010

nt genetic defect and produces much earlier symptoms.

In the retina of the models, he's finding increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factors, or VEGF, that enable new blood vessel growth. This growth is the hallmark of the wet form of macular degeneration. In fact, anti-VEGF therapies are the most potent treatments available.

"I tell patients that caught early, they have a 92 percent chance of stabilizing their vision with anti-VEGF therapy but they only have about a 38 percent chance of improving their vision," Nussbaum said. "But at least we can treat it. I also remind them there is not a cure. It's similar to cancer therapy: we can put them into remission but we don't know if it will come back."

Most people absorb about 10 percent of the iron they consume. Symptoms such as joint pain, fatigue, lack of energy, abdominal pain, loss of sex drive and heart problems indicate excess absorption although many with the condition have no symptoms when diagnosed.


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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@mcg.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

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