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Research into Age-related Macular Degeneration

Nutritional Supplements for Macular Degeneration

Dr John Nolan, PhD, Fulbright Scholar
Waterford Institute of Technology
Macular Degeneration Research Group

Full Transcript

Narrator: About 6 years ago things began to look distorted on tv for Norah. And it got progressively worse.

Norah: My reading was all shot to pieces, it would be there for a little while, be gone, big holes in it. So I started to get really scared about an income and about my lifestyle and how I could support the kids, etcetera. So I went to see the specialist.

Narrator: Doctors told Norah that she had macular degeneration. Studies underway suggest that damage to the yellow pigment layer of the macula, caused primarily by exposure to blue light in everyday life leads to damage to the rods & cones and eventual blindness. Research at the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland is studying a nutritional supplement that has shown remarkable success in increasing the protective yellow macular pigment.

Norah: I did take it every single day and about 3, maybe 6 months later it began to dawn on me that the wavy lines were gone, reading was much easier, a lot of the problems were going away. And its so much more improved that…I’m happy.

John Nolan: We can measure how an individual responds to these supplements at the retina very quickly. We can measure how their vision changes and improves because of taking these supplements and we’ve also seen now that individuals at increased risk of progressing have halted the disease. Norah is now back driving and is now back visiting her loved ones. She so much appreciates her vision and when you see people like Norah having this taken away from them and then restored then you can get a concept of the importance that these nutritional supplements been for Norah.

Norah: I value my independence and I have it back now. Hopefully it will last.