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Study Finds Potential Link Between Macular Degeneration and Alzheimer’s

Posted on November 23, 2016 by Disability Help Group

Looking at the retinas of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) could help doctors better understand Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study by researchers at Southampton University.

The study, published in Experimental Eye Research, looked at cell cultures and mouse models with AMD to analyze a specific protein linked to Alzheimer’s.

The researchers looked at beta-amyloid, a protein related to Alzheimer’s development. Amyloid proteins are present in several parts of AMD patients’ retinas.

The study found that the amyloid proteins present in the retinal cells can slowly impair a molecular mechanism that helps maintain the microtubules inside cells. This accumulation could be an important answer to how AMD damages cells.

While this is a step in the right direction, the most interesting fact coming from this study was the speed with which the amyloid proteins entered the retinas and began to make changes — just 24 hours.

The next phase of this study will focus on identifying the mechanisms that allow the proteins to cause AMD damage in such a short period.

The similarities in proteins between AMD and Alzheimer’s are just another piece of the puzzle surrounding both diseases. Researchers are still trying to determine the complex nature that gives rise to both conditions. This work might also help identify the genetic and environmental risk factors and increase disease prevention.

Some Age-related Conditions Might Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits

Although society considers Alzheimer’s and macular degeneration as older age diseases, they are not completely unheard of in younger people. If you are still of working age and develop one of these conditions, you might be entitled to Social Security disability benefits if you can no longer work.

Call the Disability Help Group at 800-800-2009 to learn more about your rights to disability benefits. You can schedule a consultation with our disability advocates for free, and you are under no obligation to use our services.