There is increasing recognition that the optical and antioxidant properties of the xanthophyll carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin play an important role in maintaining the health and function of the human macula. In this review article, we assess the value of non-invasive quantification of macular pigment levels and distributions to identify individuals potentially at risk for visual disability or catastrophic vision loss from age-related macular degeneration, and we consider the strengths and weaknesses of the diverse measurement methods currently available.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by NEI Grant EY-11600 and by unrestricted departmental Grants to the Moran Eye Center of the University of Utah and to the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences of the University of Texas Medical Branch by Research to Prevent Blindness (New York, NY) . Critical reading of the manuscript was provided by Dr. Werner Gellermann. The authors greatly appreciate the support of Kemin Health (Des Moines, IA) for facilitating the meeting of the Macular Pigment Consensus Panel. Dr. Bernstein and the University of Utah hold patent rights for measurement of carotenoids in biological tissues using resonance Raman spectroscopy and autofluorescence attenuation in several configurations.
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Macular pigment