UCL News


Press release: Zinc link to leading cause of blindness has echoes of Alzheimer's disease

16 March 2007

An international research team led by scientists at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology has found high levels of zinc in the deposits in the eye which are a marker of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the elderly in the developed world.

The finding, published in the latest edition of 'Experimental Eye Research', contributes to a better understanding of AMD and could influence the development of effective treatments.

AMD is a form of macular disease which affects the eye's retina. An estimated half a million people in the UK have it, and 40 per cent of these are over 75. Despite the potentially devastating impact on patients' quality of life, no successful therapy to stop or reverse the progression of AMD is available in the majority of cases.

Read the full press release here.