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Evaluation of optical density of xanthophylls in patients with age-related macular degeneration

Grant number: 12/15711-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2012
Effective date (End): August 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine
Principal researcher:Michel Eid Farah
Grantee:Isabella Stamato Pimenta
Home Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of visual loss and irreversible blindness in adults over 65 years old. The dry form of the disease is responsible for more than 85% of cases, resulting in social and economical impairment. Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoid pigments which reach retina in significant levels. Previous studies indicate the therapeutic potential of oral supplementation with these pigments in ARMD, generating an increase in their levels in blood and therefore its density in the region of the macula. The evaluation of macular pigment may be related to a method of early screening of the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Several methods that evaluate macular pigment are being studied and developed, including the objective method called optical reflectometry, obtained by the analysis of foveal and parafoveal region with eye fundus images made using lengths of 480-488nm and 515-540 nm. Logarithmic analysis is done through software-specific light absorption in tissues of different densities with consequent result of topographical distribution and quantification of macular pigment. In 2012, it was released a software called MPD (abbreviation for Macular Pigment Density) with this principle that does measurements of the concentration of xanthophylls in the macula. This software is available coupled to retinographer "Visucam." The central idea of the research is to investigate the reproducibility and validity of this software in the analysis of patients with age-related macular degeneration and to analyse patients in use of oral supplementation with lutein, correlating it with visual prognosis.

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