New retinal protection mechanism


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New retinal protection mechanism

A new retinal protection mechanism, depending on melanin and quantum chemistry has been discovered

Scientists at the Centre for Ophthalmology at the University of Tübingen and the Department of Therapeutic Radiology, of the Yale University School of Medicine have uncovered part of the eye’s protective mechanism during photoreceptor disc turnover. They could show how retinal pigment epithelial cells use an unusual quantum chemistry reaction to remove the toxic side product lipofuscin. When this process becomes impaired during aging, in Stargardt disease or Age-related macular degeneration, the product accumulates in the retina leading to cell damage. According to the authors, the discovery could inform AMD treatment going forward.

The results of the study were published May 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.