Illegal, Immoral or Fattening

Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening.

Hold that thought. I will get back to it.

One of the problems with living in a social world and having a progressive disease is we worry people. We worry people a lot. My friend with whom I walk and kayak was very distressed when I told her my eyes were deteriorating. Yes, I know it is going faster than anticipated. Sorry. Sorry. Mea culpa. This is not exactly my idea of a good time either.

Everyone wants to help and everyone has a theory as to what to do. I try to take it in the spirit it was intended. Being nagged is a sign of love and worry and generally happens (at least in my unsubstantiated opinion) when there is little else they can do.

After all, it is not like they can circulate a petition and get me cured!

Anyway, this friend’s answer to my problem is statins. Leave it to the exercise fiend to want to attack the fat! She has seen the latest study covered in magazines and newspapers and she has decided I need to sign up for a clinical trial with statins. Oh, my…

I promised I would contact them. And I will, I really will, but first I got the journal article on their phase 1 trial. That was interesting reading.

Regression of Some High-risk Features of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) in Patients Receiving Intensive Statin Treatment made me wonder several things. First of all, why are these titles all so long? Second thing: are there really over 100 genes that contribute to the development of AMD? Third thing: are there really several different ‘types’ of AMD? If there are – and they say there are – it makes sense there has been no quick, one-size-fits-all answer.

The reason they stressed all the different ways you can develop AMD as well as the different varieties of AMD was to highlight the fact statins may not work as well with all forms of AMD. Their study focused on people with multiple, large, soft drusen. Remember the drusen are the piles of fatty ‘eye poop’ that are not getting cleaned up and therefore interfere with the care and feeding of the photoreceptors. The thought was if statins can clean the fat out of your arteries, they can clean it out of your eyes. At least some eyes.

The reason the researchers thought statins might be able to help was based at least in part on mouse research. Mice fed a high fat diet showed changes similar to human aging and development of AMD. Given statins, they improved.

Which brings me back to my original point. Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening. Now I have to add it is bad for my eyes! Fat – what is life without butter? Or bacon? Or a nicely marbled cut of meat? What is this world coming to if butter can make you blind? ??

Fortunately that last, little part has not been proven. I also think I would persist in my bad habits (Gives brand new meaning to “Can I do it until I need glasses?”; doesn’t it?).

So, quick recap: there is some evidence statins can remove large, soft drusen. The article sounded as if their procedure would be most promising for people in the early stages of the disease as well. If this describes you, you might want to check it out.

Next: Power of Prayer

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