June 30, 2020
Brad Gelfand, Ph.D., in the laboratory

Bradley Gelfand, PhD, is giving us new insights into macular degeneration and other causes of vision loss. Image credit: Dan Addison, University of Virginia.

Exercise can slow or prevent the development of macular degeneration and may benefit other common causes of vision loss, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, new research suggests.

The new study from the University of Virginia School of Medicine found that exercise reduced the harmful overgrowth of blood vessels in the eyes of lab mice by up to 45%. This tangle of blood vessels is a key contributor to macular degeneration and several other eye diseases.

The study represents the first experimental evidence showing that exercise can reduce the severity of macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss, the scientists report.