Author(s): Kowluru RA, Kennedy A
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Abstract Retinopathy, a severely disabling complication of diabetes mellitus, is today the leading cause of acquired blindness among young adults in developed countries. Good glycaemic control can attenuate the development of diabetic retinopathy but such metabolic control is often difficult to achieve and maintain and additional therapies need to be identified by which retinopathy can be prevented or arrested. Hyperglycaemia plays a critical role in the development and progression of retinopathy, but the mechanism by which hyperglycaemia results in the development of retinopathy is not clear. Oxidative stress is increased in the retina in diabetes. The possible sources of increased oxidative stress might include increased generation of free radicals or impaired anti-oxidant defence system. Dietary supplementation with anti-oxidants in animal models of diabetic retinopathy inhibits retinal metabolic abnormalities and retinal histopathology, suggesting that oxidative stress is associated with the development of retinopathy. The mechanism by which anti-oxidants inhibit retinopathy in diabetes warrants further investigation, but animal studies show that increasing the diversity of anti-oxidants provides significantly more protection than using any single anti-oxidant. Thus, supplementation with anti-oxidants represents an achievable adjunct therapy to help preserve vision in diabetic patients.
This article was published in Expert Opin Investig Drugs
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism