Omics-based approaches to age-related macular degeneration

A new editorial paper was published in Aging (listed by MEDLINE/PubMed as "Aging (Albany NY)" and "Aging-US" by Web of Science) Volume 16, Issue 12, entitled, "Aging retinal pigmented epithelium: omics-based insights into vision decline."

In this new editorial, researchers Ioan V. Matei and Luminita Paraoan from Edge Hill University discuss vision decline with aging. Of all senses affected by aging, vision decline arguably has the most impactful relationship with overall wellbeing, health and personal autonomy. However, while the ensuing importance of vision loss has long been recognized from a public health perspective given an increasingly aging population, understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms driving age-related pathological changes is still in its infancy. 

"This matter is, therefore, critical for tackling sensory impairment and ensuring healthy aging." 

The retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE), the cellular monolayer located between the neuroretina and the highly vascularized choroid, from which it is separated by Bruch's membrane (BrM), has a critical role in human vision and performs essential functions throughout life for maintaining the retinal homeostasis. RPE is a specialized, fully differentiated tissue that is mitotically inactive, with no regenerative potential. Unsurprisingly, given all its characteristics, functions and metabolic demands, the RPE is particularly susceptible to aging, sustaining significant morphologic and physiologic changes. 

"Aging is recognized as the highest risk factor for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of adult visual impairment and blindness in the Northern Hemisphere, which is directly linked to specific pathological changes of the RPE located in the macula, i.e., the central part of retina; these changes, therefore, affect central vision required for reading, driving, and discerning details of pictures, faces, shapes and colors."

Source:
Journal reference:

Matei, I. V., & Luminita Paraoan. (2024). Aging retinal pigmented epithelium: omics-based insights into vision decline. Aging. doi.org/10.18632/aging.205914.

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