Slow the progression of AMD: go to the gym!
Monday, February 24 2014 | 00 h 00 min | News
Moderate aerobic exercise helps to preserve the structure and function of damaged retinal nerve cells, and could therefore slow the progression of retinal degenerative diseases.
Emory University researchers made this finding after conducting an experiment on mice. They first got mice to run for an hour a day, five days a week, for two weeks. They then exposed the mice to toxic bright light and ran them again for two weeks.
The study findings, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, showed that the exercised animals lost half as many photoreceptor cells as those that had not trained.
Also, the retinal cells of exercised mice were more responsive to light and had higher levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a growth- and health-promoting protein.
“This is the first report of simple exercise having a direct effect on retinal health and vision,” said Dr. Machelle Pardue, from Emory University. “This research may one day lead to tailored exercise regimens or combination therapies in treatments of blinding diseases.”