Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast and University of Alabama have discovered that calcifications in the eye are linked to a heightened risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Writing in Science Translational Medicine, the authors highlighted that individuals with calcified nodules in the retina were six times more likely to progress to advanced AMD.
The research involved using clinical imaging of patients and molecular analysis of eye samples.
Dr Imre Lengyel, from Queen’s University Belfast, explained: “Our research revealed that early changes in the back of the eye can lead to the build-up of hard mineral deposits, made of calcium and phosphate that may incorporate other types of trace metals, like magnesium. The build-up of these mineral deposits are an indicator of irreversible damage to the retina.”