The Treatment of Macular Degeneration
In our Research Summary: Genetics, Epigenetics and Macular Degeneration Treatment we discussed the fact that macular degeneration is a genetic disease. At present the greatest hope in treating macular degeneration is to use the concept of positive epigenetics and negative epigenetics.
- Positive epigenetics are changes that activate your adaptive stress response (the system of “super-genes” that kick your cell repair and DNA repair into high gear) and turn off disease genes.
- Negative epigenetics are changes that turn off your adaptive stress response and turn on your disease genes.
Both types of epigenetics effects are important if we plan on successfully treating our current degenerative diseases.
- Negative epigenetics triggered your disease. If you’re going to be successful at treating it, you have to shut down the negative genetic effects.
- Positive epigenetic effects turn on your adaptive stress response and turn off your disease genes.
AMD patients need to address both, not just one, for their best chance at treatment.
Our last blog featured a flow-chart that summarized what researchers believe to be the way macular degeneration develops. Below is how they believe it might be treated.
Epigenetic Compounds and Lifestyle Modification
Our future newsletters and blogs will be discussing epigenetic compounds that appear to have promise as well as discussing the dietary and behavioral changes that are important.
I know from experience that many of my patients would really like to find a magic bullet that they can take every day and which cures their macular degeneration without making major changes to their lifestyle.
That’s extremely unlikely to happen, and would be the same as a diabetic who uses massive amounts of insulin to attempt to stabilize his blood sugar but lives on chocolate cake and ice cream.
The key is to add the good things but also eliminate the negative factors. Attempting it any other way and expecting success is probably nothing more than wishful thinking.
We wish you a successful journey.
NOTE*** Due to the importance of understanding the cause and researcher’s proposed treatment of macular degeneration, our first two newsletters will also be featured blogs on our website. Future newsletters will have material not necessarily found on the website.
Ron Guiley OD, MPH, FAAO
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