Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050

But nutritional treatments could reduce related blindness by almost 35%, study suggests.

By Serena Gordon, HealthDay Reporter
Healthday News


Eye Scan

Although the rate of age-related macular degeneration is on the increase, newer treatments, using nutritional supplements could help reduce the most serious effects of the disease by about 35 percent, new estimates suggest.

In a study funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers report that as many as 9.1 million people will have age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in 2010, but that 17.8 million people will have the potentially blinding eye disease by 2050.

“What we found is that due to aging, the number of cases of early and advanced AMD will increase dramatically no matter what,” said study author David Rein, a senior research economist from RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C. “In 2050, we project there will be 1.57 million cases of blindness [caused by AMD] with no treatment. But, with vigorous treatment, that number’s just about 1 million.”

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The Alzheimer's Project

HBO, the cable network, in partnership with the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Health, launched a four-part documentary series along with 15 supplemental films this week called, The Alzheimer’s Project, aiming to bring new understanding to this dreadful disease.

Alzheimer’s is now the 2nd most-feared disease, right behind Cancer. A staggering 1 in 8 of our population over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s; that’s more than 5 million people – and the number is estimated to SOAR to over 11 million as baby boomers move through retirement.

Is there a solution to this terrifying problem? Yes, and it’s a resounding yes! Learn about it now before it’s too late.

Trial drugs 'reverse' Alzheimer's

US scientists say they have successfully reversed the effects of Alzheimer’s with experimental drugs.

The drugs target and boost the function of a newly pinpointed gene involved in the brain’s memory formation. In mice, the treatment helped restore long-term memory and improve learning for new tasks, BBC News reports.

The same drugs – HDAC inhibitors – are currently being tested to treat Huntington’s disease and are on the market to treat some cancers. They reshape the DNA scaffolding that supports and controls the expression of genes in the brain.

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Low Vitamin D Linked to Vaginal Infections

Low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis, a common vaginal infection linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes, suggests a new study.

In a study with 469 women participating in a pregnancy cohort study, vitamin D levels below 20 nmol/L were associated with a 34 percent increase in the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis, compared to women with vitamin D levels over 80 nmol/L.

According to researchers led by Lisa Bodnar,  from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, a potential protective effect of vitamin D may be due to the vitamin’s influence on the immune system.

The study adds to an ever growing body of science supporting the benefits of maintaining healthy vitamin D levels.

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Swine Flu hits New York City from Mexico

I’ve been following with huge interest the Swine Flu epidemic that originated in Mexico City and is now confirmed in the United States.

Photo: Getty Images brHomeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, joined by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, briefed reporters at the White House on the governments response to swine influenza.
Photo: Getty Images Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, joined by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, briefed reporters at the White House on the government's response to swine influenza.

This is serious stuff, because this is not your ordinary flu bug – it’s a combination of pig (swine), bird (avian) and human viruses, of which we humans do not have a natural immunity for.

Reports are showing at least 1,400 people infected in Mexico and from 80-200 people dead.

Earlier today, the Obama administration declared a “public health emergency,” as U.S. health officials warned that further cases of swine flu are likely to emerge in the U.S.

Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano described the declaration as “standard operating procedure” to allow the federal and state governments easier access to flu tests and medication.

Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that over time “more severe” cases of disease are likely to surface. He said that officials so far have identified 20 cases in the U.S.

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