Age-related Macular Degeneration

Raimundo M, Mira F, da Cachulo ML, Barreto P, Ribeiro L, Farinha C, Laíns I, Nunes S, Alves D, Figueira J, Merle BM, Delcourt C, Santos L, Silva R. Adherence to a Mediterranean diet, lifestyle and age-related macular degeneration: the Coimbra Eye Study - report 3. Acta Ophthalmol 2018;96(8):e926-e932.Abstract
PURPOSE: To characterize the lifestyle and nutritional risk profile associated with the Mediterranean diet in a Portuguese population with and without age-related macular degeneration (AMD). METHODS: Nested case-control study (n = 883) within the Coimbra Eye Study, including 434 subjects with AMD and 449 age- and sex-matched subjects without AMD. All enrolled subjects underwent a full risk assessment, including lifestyle-related risk factors and a thorough food frequency questionnaire. This allowed us to build an adherence score to the Mediterranean diet (mediSCORE, range 0-9) constructed from individual food intakes. Food intake was also further analysed by conversion to micronutrient consumption. RESULTS: Our results suggest that physical activity has a protective role in AMD [p = 0.018 after multivariate adjustment, OR: 0.69 (0.51-0.93)]. High (mediSCORE ≥6) was also found to be protective [p = 0.041, OR: 0.62 (95% CI: 0.38-0.97)]. Food group analysis unveiled a specific protective role for increased fruits consumption (p = 0.029). Finally, micronutrient analysis revealed a protective role associated with increased consumption of caffeine, fibres, beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: High mediSCORE appears to confer protection against the development of AMD in a Mediterranean population. This effect is driven by increased consumption of fruits and some antioxidant micronutrients, which emerged as statistically significant protective factors. Further studies are required to establish dietary recommendations with clinical application.
Laíns I, Kelly RS, Miller JB, Vavvas DG, Kim IK, Lasky-Su J, Miller JW, Husain D. Reply. Ophthalmology 2018;125(7):e46-e47.
Roh M, Selivanova A, Shin HJ, Miller JW, Jackson ML. Visual acuity and contrast sensitivity are two important factors affecting vision-related quality of life in advanced age-related macular degeneration. PLoS One 2018;13(5):e0196481.Abstract
PURPOSE: Vision loss from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has a profound effect on vision-related quality of life (VRQoL). The pupose of this study is to identify clinical factors associated with VRQoL using the Rasch- calibrated NEI VFQ-25 scales in bilateral advanced AMD patients. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 47 patients (mean age 83.2 years) with bilateral advanced AMD. Clinical assessment included age, gender, type of AMD, high contrast visual acuity (VA), history of medical conditions, contrast sensitivity (CS), central visual field loss, report of Charles Bonnet Syndrome, current treatment for AMD and Rasch-calibrated NEI VFQ-25 visual function and socioemotional function scales. The NEI VFQ visual function scale includes items of general vision, peripheral vision, distance vision and near vision-related activity while the socioemotional function scale includes items of vision related-social functioning, role difficulties, dependency, and mental health. Multiple regression analysis (structural regression model) was performed using fixed item parameters obtained from the one-parameter item response theory model. RESULTS: Multivariate analysis showed that high contrast VA and CS were two factors influencing VRQoL visual function scale (β = -0.25, 95% CI-0.37 to -0.12, p<0.001 and β = 0.35, 95% CI 0.25 to 0.46, p<0.001) and socioemontional functioning scale (β = -0.2, 95% CI -0.37 to -0.03, p = 0.023, and β = 0.3, 95% CI 0.18 to 0.43, p = 0.001). Central visual field loss was not assoicated with either VRQoL visual or socioemontional functioning scale (β = -0.08, 95% CI-0.28 to 0.12,p = 0.44 and β = -0.09, 95% CI -0.03 to 0.16, p = 0.50, respectively). CONCLUSION: In patients with vision impairment secondary to bilateral advanced AMD, high contrast VA and CS are two important factors affecting VRQoL.
Laíns I, Park DH, Mukai R, Silverman R, Oellers P, Mach S, Kim IK, Vavvas DG, Miller JW, Miller JB, Husain D. Peripheral Changes Associated With Delayed Dark Adaptation in Age-related Macular Degeneration. Am J Ophthalmol 2018;190:113-124.Abstract
PURPOSE: To study the association between peripheral changes in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and dark adaptation (DA). DESIGN: Prospective, cross-sectional study. METHODS: We recruited patients with AMD and a control group (>50 years) without any vitreoretinal disease. Ultra-widefield (UWF) pseudocolor and fundus autofluorescence (FAF) were obtained, and were assessed by 2 graders for the presence of several peripheral changes in perimacular, midperipheral, and far-peripheral zones. All participants were also imaged with 7-field color fundus photographs used for AMD staging (Age-Related Eye Disease Study classification system). Both eyes of study participants were tested with a dark adaptation (DA) extended protocol (20 minutes). Multilevel mixed-effect models (accounting for correlated outcomes between 2 eyes) were used for analyses. RESULTS: We included 128 eyes (n = 72 patients), 75% with AMD and the remainder controls. The presence of reticular pigmentary changes in the midperipheral (ß = 4.3, P = .012) and far-peripheral zones (ß = 8.4, P < .001) was associated with delayed rod-intercept times (RITs), even after adjusting for confounding factors. The presence, number, and extent of peripheral classic drusen did not show a similar association (P ≥ .148). The presence of a mottled decreased FAF pattern in the midperipheral zone was also associated with prolonged RITs (β = 4.4, P = .031). CONCLUSION: Our results suggest an association between DA and the presence of peripheral reticular pigmentary changes, as well as the presence of a peripheral mottled decreased FAF pattern. This provides new insights on the clinical significance of peripheral changes in AMD, and their contribution to impairments on DA.
Nunes S, Alves D, Barreto P, Raimundo M, da Luz Cachulo M, Farinha C, Laíns I, Rodrigues J, Almeida C, Ribeiro L, Figueira J, Santos L, Silva R. Adherence to a mediterranean diet and its association with age-related macular degeneration. The Coimbra Eye Study-Report 4. Nutrition 2018;51-52:6-12.Abstract
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to characterize the association of lifestyle and nutritional risk profiles with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in two subpopulations with differing AMD prevalence. METHODS: This case-control study (n = 1992) included 768 patients with AMD and 1224 age- and sex-matched participants without AMD with a single visit at a primary health care unit. Enrolled participants completed a validated lifestyle and food frequency questionnaire. A score to measure adherence to the Mediterranean diet (mediSCORE; Range, 0-9) was constructed from individual food intakes, which were further analyzed by conversion to nutrient consumption. RESULTS: Higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet (mediSCORE ≥6) was significantly associated with no AMD (odds ratio [OR] = 0.73; P = 0.009). The subpopulation with lower AMD prevalence presented significantly higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet in relation to all individual food groups that comprised the mediSCORE (P < 0.014) with the exception of cereals. Food group analysis showed significant associations between the increased consumption of vegetables (OR = 0.63; P < 0.001) and fruit and nuts (OR = 0.78; P = 0.010) with no AMD. Nutrient analysis revealed that an increased ingestion of water, fibers, total fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic acid, vitamins A and C, carotene, alpha-tocopherol, folate, magnesium, iron, and zinc were significantly associated with no AMD (P < 0.0013). Finally, regular physical activity was associated with no AMD (P = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: High adherence to a Mediterranean diet and regular physical activity seem to be protective factors for AMD in a Portuguese population. The effect of the diet is likely driven by the increased consumption of vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
Laíns I, Kelly RS, Miller JB, Silva R, Vavvas DG, Kim IK, Murta JN, Lasky-Su J, Miller JW, Husain D. Human Plasma Metabolomics Study across All Stages of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Identifies Potential Lipid Biomarkers. Ophthalmology 2018;125(2):245-254.Abstract
PURPOSE: To characterize the plasma metabolomic profile of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) using mass spectrometry (MS). DESIGN: Cross-sectional observational study. PARTICIPANTS: We prospectively recruited participants with a diagnosis of AMD and a control group (>50 years of age) without any vitreoretinal disease. METHODS: All participants underwent color fundus photography, used for AMD diagnosis and staging, according to the Age-Related Eye Disease Study classification scheme. Fasting blood samples were collected and plasma was analyzed by Metabolon, Inc. (Durham, NC), using ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) and high-resolution MS. Metabolon's hardware and software were used to identify peaks and control quality. Principal component analysis and multivariate regression were performed to assess differences in the metabolomic profiles of AMD patients versus controls, while controlling for potential confounders. For biological interpretation, pathway enrichment analysis of significant metabolites was performed using MetaboAnalyst. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome measures were levels of plasma metabolites in participants with AMD compared with controls and among different AMD severity stages. RESULTS: We included 90 participants with AMD (30 with early AMD, 30 with intermediate AMD, and 30 with late AMD) and 30 controls. Using UPLC and MS, 878 biochemicals were identified. Multivariate logistic regression identified 87 metabolites with levels that differed significantly between AMD patients and controls. Most of these metabolites (82.8%; n = 72), including the most significant metabolites, belonged to the lipid pathways. Analysis of variance revealed that of the 87 metabolites, 48 (55.2%) also were significantly different across the different stages of AMD. A significant enrichment of the glycerophospholipids pathway was identified (P = 4.7 × 10) among these metabolites. CONCLUSIONS: Participants with AMD have altered plasma metabolomic profiles compared with controls. Our data suggest that the most significant metabolites map to the glycerophospholipid pathway. These findings have the potential to improve our understanding of AMD pathogenesis, to support the development of plasma-based metabolomics biomarkers of AMD, and to identify novel targets for treatment of this blinding disease.
Vavvas DG, Small KW, Awh CC, Zanke BW, Tibshirani RJ, Kustra R. CFH and ARMS2 genetic risk determines progression to neovascular age-related macular degeneration after antioxidant and zinc supplementation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018;Abstract
We evaluated the influence of an antioxidant and zinc nutritional supplement [the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formulation] on delaying or preventing progression to neovascular AMD (NV) in persons with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AREDS subjects (n = 802) with category 3 or 4 AMD at baseline who had been treated with placebo or the AREDS formulation were evaluated for differences in the risk of progression to NV as a function of complement factor H (CFH) and age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2 (ARMS2) genotype groups. We used published genetic grouping: a two-SNP haplotype risk-calling algorithm to assess CFH, and either the single SNP rs10490924 or 372_815del443ins54 to mark ARMS2 risk. Progression risk was determined using the Cox proportional hazard model. Genetics-treatment interaction on NV risk was assessed using a multiiterative bootstrap validation analysis. We identified strong interaction of genetics with AREDS formulation treatment on the development of NV. Individuals with high CFH and no ARMS2 risk alleles and taking the AREDS formulation had increased progression to NV compared with placebo. Those with low CFH risk and high ARMS2 risk had decreased progression risk. Analysis of CFH and ARMS2 genotype groups from a validation dataset reinforces this conclusion. Bootstrapping analysis confirms the presence of a genetics-treatment interaction and suggests that individual treatment response to the AREDS formulation is largely determined by genetics. The AREDS formulation modifies the risk of progression to NV based on individual genetics. Its use should be based on patient-specific genotype.
Kosmidou C, Efstathiou NE, Hoang MV, Notomi S, Konstantinou EK, Hirano M, Takahashi K, Maidana DE, Tsoka P, Young L, Gragoudas ES, Olsen TW, Morizane Y, Miller JW, Vavvas DG. Issues with the Specificity of Immunological Reagents for NLRP3: Implications for Age-related Macular Degeneration. Sci Rep 2018;8(1):461.Abstract
Contradictory data have been presented regarding the implication of the NACHT, LRR and PYD domains-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss in the Western world. Recognizing that antibody specificity may explain this discrepancy and in line with recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines requiring authentication of key biological resources, the specificity of anti-NLRP3 antibodies was assessed to elucidate whether non-immune RPE cells express NLRP3. Using validated resources, NLRP3 was not detected in human primary or human established RPE cell lines under multiple inflammasome-priming conditions, including purported NLRP3 stimuli in RPE such as DICER1 deletion and Alu RNA transfection. Furthermore, NLRP3 was below detection limits in ex vivo macular RPE from AMD patients, as well as in human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived RPE from patients with overactive NLRP3 syndrome (Chronic infantile neurologic cutaneous and articulate, CINCA syndrome). Evidence presented in this study provides new data regarding the interpretation of published results reporting NLRP3 expression and upregulation in RPE and addresses the role that this inflammasome plays in AMD pathogenesis.
Laíns I, Miller JB, Mukai R, Mach S, Vavvas D, Kim IK, Miller JW, Husain D. HEALTH CONDITIONS LINKED TO AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION ASSOCIATED WITH DARK ADAPTATION. Retina 2018;38(6):1145-1155.Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the association between dark adaption (DA) and different health conditions linked with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). METHODS: Cross-sectional study, including patients with AMD and a control group. Age-related macular degeneration was graded according to the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) classification. We obtained data on medical history, medications, and lifestyle. Dark adaption was assessed with the extended protocol (20 minutes) of AdaptDx (MacuLogix). For analyses, the right eye or the eye with more advanced AMD was selected. Multivariate linear and logistic regressions were performed, accounting for age and AMD stage. RESULTS: Seventy-eight subjects (75.6% AMD; 24.4% controls) were included. Multivariate assessments revealed that body mass index (BMI; β = 0.30, P = 0.045), taking AREDS vitamins (β = 5.51, P < 0.001), and family history of AMD (β = 2.68, P = 0.039) were significantly associated with worse rod intercept times. Abnormal DA (rod intercept time ≥ 6.5 minutes) was significantly associated with family history of AMD (β = 1.84, P = 0.006), taking AREDS supplements (β = 1.67, P = 0.021) and alcohol intake (β = 0.07, P = 0.017). CONCLUSION: Besides age and AMD stage, a higher body mass index, higher alcohol intake, and a family history of AMD seem to impair DA. In this cohort, the use of AREDS vitamins was also statistically linked with impaired DA, most likely because of an increased severity of disease in subjects taking them.
Hasegawa E, Inafuku S, Mulki L, Okunuki Y, Yanai R, Smith KE, Kim CB, Klokman G, Bielenberg DR, Puli N, Falck JR, Husain D, Miller JW, Edin ML, Zeldin DC, Stephen Lee KS, Hammock BD, Schunck W-H, Connor KM. Cytochrome P450 monooxygenase lipid metabolites are significant second messengers in the resolution of choroidal neovascularization. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2017;114(36):E7545-E7553.Abstract
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of blindness for individuals age 50 and above in the developed world. Abnormal growth of choroidal blood vessels, or choroidal neovascularization (CNV), is a hallmark of the neovascular (wet) form of advanced AMD and leads to significant vision loss. A growing body of evidence supports a strong link between neovascular disease and inflammation. Metabolites of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids derived from the cytochrome P450 (CYP) monooxygenase pathway serve as vital second messengers that regulate a number of hormones and growth factors involved in inflammation and vascular function. Using transgenic mice with altered CYP lipid biosynthetic pathways in a mouse model of laser-induced CNV, we characterized the role of these lipid metabolites in regulating neovascular disease. We discovered that the CYP-derived lipid metabolites epoxydocosapentaenoic acids (EDPs) and epoxyeicosatetraenoic acids (EEQs) are vital in dampening CNV severity. Specifically, overexpression of the monooxygenase CYP2C8 or genetic ablation or inhibition of the soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) enzyme led to increased levels of EDP and EEQ with attenuated CNV development. In contrast, when we promoted the degradation of these CYP-derived metabolites by transgenic overexpression of sEH, the protective effect against CNV was lost. We found that these molecules work in part through their ability to regulate the expression of key leukocyte adhesion molecules, on both leukocytes and endothelial cells, thereby mediating leukocyte recruitment. These results suggest that CYP lipid signaling molecules and their regulators are potential therapeutic targets in neovascular diseases.
Fu Z, Liegl R, Wang Z, Gong Y, Liu C-H, Sun Y, Cakir B, Burnim SB, Meng SS, Löfqvist C, SanGiovanni JP, Hellström A, Smith LEH. Adiponectin Mediates Dietary Omega-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Protection Against Choroidal Neovascularization in Mice. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2017;58(10):3862-3870.Abstract
Purpose: Neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of legal blindness in the elderly. Diets with omega3-long-chain-polyunsaturated-fatty-acid (ω3-LCPUFA) correlate with a decreased risk of AMD. Dietary ω3-LCPUFA versus ω6-LCPUFA inhibits mouse ocular neovascularization, but the underlying mechanism needs further exploration. The aim of this study was to investigate if adiponectin (APN) mediated ω3-LCPUFA suppression of neovessels in AMD. Methods: The mouse laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV) model was used to mimic some of the inflammatory aspect of AMD. CNV was compared between wild-type (WT) and Apn-/- mice fed either otherwise matched diets with 2% ω3 or 2% ω6-LCPUFAs. Vldlr-/- mice were used to mimic some of the metabolic aspects of AMD. Choroid assay ex vivo and human retinal microvascular endothelial cell (HRMEC) proliferation assay in vitro was used to investigate the APN pathway in angiogenesis. Western blot for p-AMPKα/AMPKα and qPCR for Apn, Mmps, and IL-10 were used to define mechanism. Results: ω3-LCPUFA intake suppressed laser-induced CNV in WT mice; suppression was abolished with APN deficiency. ω3-LCPUFA, mediated by APN, decreased mouse Mmps expression. APN deficiency decreased AMPKα phosphorylation in vivo and exacerbated choroid-sprouting ex vivo. APN pathway activation inhibited HRMEC proliferation and decreased Mmps. In Vldlr-/- mice, ω3-LCPUFA increased retinal AdipoR1 and inhibited NV. ω3-LCPUFA decreased IL-10 but did not affect Mmps in Vldlr-/- retinas. Conclusions: APN in part mediated ω3-LCPUFA inhibition of neovascularization in two mouse models of AMD. Modulating the APN pathway in conjunction with a ω3-LCPUFA-enriched-diet may augment the beneficial effects of ω3-LCPUFA in AMD patients.
Feng L, Ju M, Lee KYV, Mackey A, Evangelista M, Iwata D, Adamson P, Lashkari K, Foxton R, Shima D, Ng YS. A Proinflammatory Function of Toll-Like Receptor 2 in the Retinal Pigment Epithelium as a Novel Target for Reducing Choroidal Neovascularization in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Am J Pathol 2017;187(10):2208-2221.Abstract
Current treatments for choroidal neovascularization, a major cause of blindness for patients with age-related macular degeneration, treat symptoms but not the underlying causes of the disease. Inflammation has been strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of choroidal neovascularization. We examined the inflammatory role of Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) in age-related macular degeneration. TLR2 was robustly expressed by the retinal pigment epithelium in mouse and human eyes, both normal and with macular degeneration/choroidal neovascularization. Nuclear localization of NF-κB, a major downstream target of TLR2 signaling, was detected in the retinal pigment epithelium of human eyes, particularly in eyes with advanced stages of age-related macular degeneration. TLR2 antagonism effectively suppressed initiation and growth of spontaneous choroidal neovascularization in a mouse model, and the combination of anti-TLR2 and antivascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 yielded an additive therapeutic effect on both area and number of spontaneous choroidal neovascularization lesions. Finally, in primary human fetal retinal pigment epithelium cells, ligand binding to TLR2 induced robust expression of proinflammatory cytokines, and end products of lipid oxidation had a synergistic effect on TLR2 activation. Our data illustrate a functional role for TLR2 in the pathogenesis of choroidal neovascularization, likely by promoting inflammation of the retinal pigment epithelium, and validate TLR2 as a novel therapeutic target for reducing choroidal neovascularization.
Laíns I, Wang J, Providência J, Mach S, Gil P, Gil J, Marques M, Armstrong G, Garas S, Barreto P, Kim IK, Vavvas DG, Miller JW, Husain D, Silva R, Miller JB. Choroidal Changes Associated With Subretinal Drusenoid Deposits in Age-related Macular Degeneration Using Swept-source Optical Coherence Tomography. Am J Ophthalmol 2017;180:55-63.Abstract
PURPOSE: To compare choroidal vascular features of eyes with and without subretinal drusenoid deposits (SDD), using swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS OCT). DESIGN: Multicenter, cross-sectional study. METHODS: We prospectively recruited patients with intermediate age-related macular degeneration (AMD), without other vitreoretinal pathology. All participants underwent complete ophthalmic examination, color fundus photography (used for AMD staging), and spectral-domain OCT (to evaluate the presence of SDD). SS OCT was used to obtain automatic macular choroidal thickness (CT) maps, according to the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) sectors. For data analysis, we considered mean choroidal thickness as the arithmetic mean value of the 9 ETDRS sectors. SS OCT en face images of choroidal vasculature were also captured and converted to binary images. Choroidal vascular density (CVD) was calculated as a percent area occupied by choroidal vessels in a 6-mm-diameter submacular circular. Choroidal vessel volume was calculated by multiplying the average CVD by macular area and CT. Multilevel mixed linear models (to account for the inclusion of 2 eyes of same subject) were performed for analysis. RESULTS: We included 186 eyes (n = 118 subjects), 94 (50.5%) presenting SDD. Multiple regression analysis revealed that, controlling for age, eyes with SDD presented a statistically thinner mean CT (ß = -21.9, P = .006) and CT in all the individual ETDRS fields (ß ≤ -18.79, P ≤ .026). Mean choroidal vessel volume was also significantly reduced in eyes with SDD (ß = -0.003, P = .007). No significant associations were observed with mean CVD. CONCLUSION: In subjects with intermediate AMD, choroidal thickness and vessel volume are reduced in the presence of subretinal drusenoid deposits.

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