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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is regarded as the leading cause of vision loss for people over the age. The answer is that a genetic mutation has turned off the bodys ability to make ferritin in response to changing iron levels. The result is hereditary hyperferritinemia cataract syndrome (hhcs an inherited condition of early-onset cataracts which could be dangerously confused with hemochromatosis (iron overload) unless a person is diagnosed using the full iron panel : Hemoglobin

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: the iron-containing protein in the blood that carries iron. Serum ferritin : indicates the amount of iron stored in the body, via the protein ferritin. Iron may accumulate to even higher levels in diseased retinas because low oxygen levels (hypoxia) or inflammation can cause cells to retain iron. In hhcs, components of ferritin accumulate in the eye lens and crystalize disrupting the light transmission which enables a person to see. Deferiprone can protect the retinas of mice by entering the retina and removing iron from it, said Dunaief, whose lab is currently testing additional drugs to prevent iron accumulation in the eye.

Joshua Dunaief, professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. While smoking, poor diet, and lack of exercise typically contribute to oxidation of the retina, research has found that iron may also increase a persons risk of AMD, according. Iron accumulates in the body with age because we continue to absorb it from our diets, but we excrete very little, Dunaief said. Oftentimes the storage protein for iron, ferritin, can reach the eye instead of the mineral itself. A liver biopsy will show that the patient does not have iron overload. Dunaiefs research has shown that the oral iron chelator deferiprone may be a possible treatment for AMD if iron accumulation was one of the causes for its development.


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Hyperferritinemia means high ferritin in the blood). Iron chelation therapy is the removal of excess iron from the body with special drugs. People with hhcs typically have normal tibc and TS test results but elevated serum ferritin levels (. Iron is a necessary mineral for many of the bodys functions, including vision. Right now, the only known treatment for hhcs is cataract surgery. Home / Iron Blog, iron contributes to the leading causes of vision loss. Normally the RPE has ways to prevent iron from entering the retina when iron levels are high, but if iron export from cells is unregulated, iron may accumulate in the eye and degrade the macula. But how can the bodys storage sites for iron be full without iron overflowing into other organs? Iron contributes to the leading causes of vision loss. If an hhcs patient is falsely diagnosed with hemochromatosis, phlebotomies used to remove excess iron from the body could make the person become iron deficient.