by Dan Roberts
There has been a good deal of excitement about the possible connection between the level of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood and various diseases, including macular degeneration.
CRP is responsible for the healing benefit of inflammation that occurs when a part of the body is in trouble. If, however, the level of the protein is elevated, it can cause damage.
A report in the February 11, 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association established this link. 930 participants in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) were involved in the recent research.
Blood samples from the participants showed significantly higher C-reactive protein levels in the group diagnosed with advanced macular degeneration, and CRP levels displayed significant association with the presence of both intermediate and advanced stages of ARMD. Those subjects with highest CRP levels had a 65 percent increased risk of macular degeneration compared to those with the lowest CRP levels.
Researchers concluded that anti-inflammatory agents might help to prevent ARMD, and CRP levels may serve as an identifying marker for potential development of the disease.
We will continue to watch and report on the progress of this promising research.