Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a major cause of blindness in the elderly. Unfortunately, no proven form of treatment is currently available for the dry, atrophic form of ARMD seen in more than 90% of patients with this condition. A recent theory suggests that ARMD is associated with damage to the retina caused by free radicals. If this is correct, it is possible that the damage could be prevented or moderated by supplementing the diet with specific antioxidant vitamins and minerals that enhance the body's natural defenses against free radicals. This paper reviews the literature regarding the pathogenesis of ARMD and presents a rationale for its management or prevention by the use of supplemental vitamins and minerals.
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