An Excellent Series on Macular Degeneration from The New York Times

A retinal photograph that shows advanced macular degeneration with a retinal bleed

As our readers know, I am committed to investigating and reporting the latest information about macular degeneration, including ongoing research and clinical trial results; thus I am extremely pleased to note that the New York Times is presenting a three-pronged series on macular diseases and disorders.

In the latest installment of the New York Times Patient Voices series, health writer Tara Parker-Pope introduces

“…six men and women [who] talk about life with macular degeneration and Stargardt’s disease. They include Dick Coulson, 80, a retired orthodontist in Lakewood, Colorado, who has managed to maintain his hobby of photography despite losing his vision.”

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study and Macular Degeneration

On the Consults blog, Stephen Rose, Ph.D., chief research officer for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, responds to readers’ questions about macular degeneration, Stargardt’s disease, and other retinal degenerative diseases.

Dr. Rose’s first response addresses reader questions about the role of vitamins and nutrients in combating vision loss associated with macular degeneration. His answers are excellent and include helpful information about the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), which our own Dr. Lylas G. Mogk discusses on the VisionAware website:

Head shot of Dr. Lylas G. Mogk. She is wearing a bight red suit and is smiling

“The AREDS formula includes 25 IU of beta carotene (not for smokers), 500 mg of Vitamin C, 400 mg of Vitamin E, 80 mg of Zinc (and 2 mg of Copper to avoid copper deficiency with high zinc intake).

The role of beta-carotene and the high dose of zinc are now being questioned, however, and are currently being re-evaluated in a second AREDS trial that will include lutein, its cousin zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids.

The inclusion of these three new ingredients in the second AREDS trial is based on research showing that those who eat five or more servings of dark green leafy vegetables, rich in lutein and to a lesser degree zeaxanthin, have significantly less AMD.”

We thank the New York Times for this informative series and encourage our readers to share their own knowledge about, and experiences with, macular degeneration.


Dr. Rose’s second response addresses reader questions about the efficacy of Avastin vs. Lucentis for macular degeneration and provides information about VEGF Trap-Eye, an emerging new treatment for wet macular degeneration.

You can also read about Avastin vs. Lucentis for AMD: Preliminary Research Results on the VisionAware blog.