Cholesterol buildup & macular degeneration

Cholesterol may play a role in the development of macular degeneration, according to a study published online in Cell Metabolism.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are studying how cholesterol and malfunctioning macrophages that should remove cholesterol may contribute to the disease. Lipid deposits can be detected in the eye during the “dry” form of macular degeneration, and vessel growth related to inflammation from malfunctioning macrophages is apparent in the “wet” form of the disease.

They speculate that pharmaceuticals that lower cholesterol also may help in the treatment of macular degeneration, too.

See the video of a retina of a patient with age-related macular degeneration in which light-colored lipid deposits can be seen.