Exercise may help prevent macular degeneration in older Americans
June 30th, 6:39 PM EDT
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., (CBS19 NEWS) -- University of Virginia Assistant Professor Bradley Gelfand is researching the connection between exercise and the prevention of vision loss.
He says macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the United States, and ten million Americans are estimated to have the condition. The disease typically affects people over the age of 55 and those who have light-colored eyes.
Gelfand’s study examines those who participated in exercise and those who did not.
"We had two experimental groups. One group had access to exercise ad libitum, or as much as the subject wanted. And another group did not have access to an exercise wheel," said Gelfand.
The main purpose of his research is to show how such a small amount of exercise can still create a great outcome.
"So what we found was that, essentially, with any of the subjects with access to exercise saw a benefit, irrespective on how much they exercised," he said.
With proper research and funding, Gelfand hopes to one day create a treatment that can cure macular degeneration without exercising.
Thoughts of a medication that has the effect of exercising without actually having to work out are being considered as a possible macular degeneration treatment.