Saturday, April 19, 2014

Glaucoma and B vitamin intake

Exfoliation glaucoma and nutrition supplements - folate may reduce the risk
Exfoliation glaucoma is a common cause of glaucoma.  Glaucoma is a disease characterized by increased pressure inside the eye which damages the optic nerve, resulting in slowly increasing permanent vision loss. Exfoliation glaucoma is only one variation of the disease.  Here is a description of exfoliation glaucoma from the Glaucoma Foundation:

This common cause of glaucoma is found everywhere in the world, but is most common among people of European descent. In about 10% of the population over age 50, a whitish material, which looks on slit-lamp examination somewhat like tiny flakes of dandruff, builds up on the lens of the eye. This exfoliation material is rubbed off the lens by movement of the iris and at the same time, pigment is rubbed off the iris. Both pigment and exfoliation material clog the trabecular meshwork, leading to IOP elevation, sometimes to very high levels.

Exfoliation syndrome can lead to both open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma, often producing both kinds of glaucoma in the same individual. Not all persons with exfoliation syndrome develop glaucoma. However, if you have exfoliation syndrome, your chances of developing glaucoma are about six times as high as if you don´t. It often appears in one eye long before the other, for unknown reasons. If you have glaucoma in one eye only, this is the most likely cause. It can be detected before the glaucoma develops, so that you can be more carefully observed and minimize your chances of vision loss.                                                    
A new study published in the journal JAMA ophthalmology investigated the connection between intake of vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folate and risk of developing exfoliation glaucoma.  The study found not impact on exfoliation glaucoma risk from taking vitamins B6 and B12.  Folate intake was found to reduce the risk of exfoliation glaucoma.


JAMA ophthalmology
A Prospective Study of Folate, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12 Intake in Relation to Exfoliation Glaucoma or Suspected Exfoliation Glaucoma

JAMA Ophthalmol 2014 Apr 03;[EPub Ahead of Print], JH Kang, SJ Loomis, JL Wiggs, WC Willett, LR Pasquale