New AMD Drug Delivery, Brain Stimulation, and 4 Vision Recipes

New AMD Drug Delivery, Brain Stimulation, and 4 Vision Recipes

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) brings all sorts of challenges to the currently 11 million Americans diagnosed with this sight robbing disease. Irisvision reports that this number is expected to double by 2050 and, “In the U.S., the prevalence of AMD is similar to that of all invasive cancers combined and more than double the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease.” 

With these sobering statistics it is no wonder researchers are continually developing new attempts at preventing, slowing and invariably curing this currently incurable affliction. Therefore, if you are concerned about your sight or struggling with macular degeneration there is some hope with these new medical breakthroughs and preventative dietary choices. 

Check out the new AMD drug delivery, brain stimulation, and 4 vision recipes to keep you in-the-know of your current and future eyesight health. 

Virus Bus

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine published recent breakthroughs in drug delivery to the retina. The current delivery method is the injection of various drugs often used as anti-VEGF treatment which slows the growth of excessive vascular endothelial growth factor proteins that are believed to contribute to AMD. However, this method can be very uncomfortable and sometimes painful due to multiple intravitreal injections into the eyeball. Furthermore, these injections require multiple office visits every four to six weeks due to the limited life-span of the medication. If an appointment is missed, abnormal blood vessels can form rapidly, negating previous treatment. 

The new study with the tongue twisting title, ‘AAV8-Vectored Suprachoroidal Gene Transfer Produces Widespread Ocular Transgene Expression,’ describes how a harmless, genetically engineered virus has been successful in delivering therapeutic gene therapy to the retina. The injection is less invasive as it is placed between the white of the eye and the eye’s vascular layer, known as the ‘suprachoroidal space’. 

The study first involved a viral injection known as a harmless adeno-associated virus into the eyes of ten laboratory rates. The virus was formatted to transport a detectable fluorescent marker (also harmless) just to see if it would make it to the retina. After one week, through high-powered microscopes, the scientists found that the entire retina was glowing with the marker. 

This gave the go-ahead for the second phase of the study.

Science Daily reported, 

“Next, the researchers looked at whether this virus could deliver helpful genes. They loaded an anti-VEGF gene into their modified virus and injected it into the suprachoroidal space of 40 rats induced to develop a humanlike form of macular degeneration. For comparison, they used the conventional sub-retinal injection in 40 other rats…The researchers found that the suprachoroidal injection technique performed just as well as the conventional sub-retinal approach, and was as effective and long lasting in delivering the vision-protecting anti-VEGF protein.”

This treatment works more effectively by lasting longer, is less painful, and may make it to mainstream patients sooner than later due to similar significant results found when tested on larger animals. 

Dr. Peter Campochiaro, Eccles Professor of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Wilmer Eye Institute commented,

“Our hope is that with suprachoroidal injections, patients can just walk into a clinic and get their vision-saving treatment without worrying about many of the complications that come with sub-retinal injections.”

Brain Electronics

Stimulating brain function with gentle electrical ‘nudges’ has shown to significantly benefit a variety of diseases and macular degeneration may be next on the list. A treatment called anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) has been used for over fifty years to ‘jolt’ the brain into healing mode. 

Although this technique has mostly been used for alleviating  psychiatric and behavioral disorders, it is currently beginning the human testing phase at two research labs, one in Ontario, Canada (University of Waterloo)) and one in Hong Kong, China (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University).  

According to a small study by researchers at the Department of Psychology, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, published in the journal Eye and Brain (8/27/18), 

“Typical treatments involve injecting 2 mA current through scalp electrodes for 20 minutes, sometimes repeated weekly for two to five sessions.”

The results show positive rehabilitation potential for those suffering from central vision and peripheral vision loss. Research will continue on the neuron level and hopefully after these two human trials, more info will lead to a mainstream application that could replace injections someday.

Eat to See

So many studies break down the variety of nutritive compounds that can strengthen and enhance your vision, however thinking of these nutrients in terms of dinner meals is rarely considered. Health Central encourages several dinner entrees you can utilize and add to your eating routine for healthier foods to optimize your eyesight and maybe even slow or prevent AMD. 

Baked Fish-n-Chips

  • Bake a salmon filet (or you can broil it)
  • Slice sweet potato rounds, drizzle with olive oil, and roast. 
  • Serve with a warm salad of wilted greens (kale, Swiss chard, turnip greens), tossed with minced garlic, cannellini beans, and sautéed mushrooms
  • Vision boosting benefits include: beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin C, and selenium

Spinach-Kale Salad

  • Fresh spinach-kale base
  • Add slices of tomato and avocado, roasted red and yellow peppers, white beans, sunflower seeds, and a balsamic-vinaigrette dressing
  • Strawberries and blueberries for dessert
  • Vision boosting benefits include: lutein and zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, vitamin C and E, copper, and selenium

Eye Opening Omelet Dinner

  • Start with carrot soup sprinkled with pumpkin seeds
  • Omelet of whole eggs, diced red peppers, spinach, mushrooms, and whole-grain toast
  • Vision boosting benefits include: beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamins C and E, zinc, and selenium

Warm Spinach Veggie Salad

  • Gently warm fresh spinach in a skillet with chunks of roasted butternut squash, peppers and zucchini, walnuts, dried cranberries, and the dressing of your choice.
  • Vision boosting benefits include: beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamins C and E, and omega-3 fatty acids

The pattern here is obviously the consistent vitamins and minerals mentioned. These can also be found in supplemental form but eating fresh, unprocessed foods like these means optimal systemic assimilation which will invariably benefit your eyesight and potentially stave off AMD.

This new AMD drug delivery, brain stimulation, and 4 vision recipes offer yet more ways you can keep your eyes healthy or slow macular degeneration already in progress.