AMD’s obesity link
Credit: Joenomias Menno de Jong, Pixabay

AMD’s obesity link

March 1, 2023 Staff reporters

Canadian researchers investigating why only some genetically predisposed individuals develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have found obesity leads to persistent changes in immune-cell DNA, making the cells more susceptible to producing inflammatory molecules.


The research was conducted by Université de Montréal’s Professor Przemyslaw Sapieha, director of the Ocular Neurovascular Disease Research Unit at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Centre, and Dr Masayuki Hata, a former postdoctoral fellow in Prof Sapieha’s lab. Now an associate professor at Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Dr Hata said their study showed being overweight is the primary non-genetic risk factor (after smoking) for developing AMD and provides important information about the biology of the immune cells which cause AMD.


Prof Sapieha and Dr Hata said they hope their findings will allow for the development of more tailored treatments and inform further research into neuroinflammation-mediated diseases, such as Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis.