Chemist Direct Speculates Whether Regular Walking Can Reduce the Risk of Chronic Illnesses Like Macular Degeneration

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Research into AMD surprisingly links walking to early prevention of age-related blindness. Regular walking helps promote overall physical fitness, reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases and some neurological deterioration, according to Chemist Direct.

Macular deneration desease

Macular deneration desease

Regular physical activity keeps emotions balanced, reduces insomnia, joint and chronic pain and inflammation such as those who suffer from arthritis, some cancer types, stroke and other ailments associated with age, including AMD.

Walking has always been an important part of staying active throughout the ages. It allows a person to maintain a healthy weight, keep muscles toned and flush out the organs. Regular physical activity also keeps emotions balanced, reduces insomnia, joint and chronic pain and inflammation such as those who suffer from arthritis, some cancer types, stroke and other ailments associated with age that can be prevented, including AMD.

AMD is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss among elderly people, who slowly lose their central vision. In time, a person with macular degeneration may find it difficult or impossible to read, drive or recognize familiar faces. You should be especially diligent about prevention measures if you already have a diagnosis of macular degeneration (AMD), or if you are older and the disease runs in your family. http://bit.ly/1o2YxGT

A research team from the Emory Eye Centre in Atlanta, Georgia found that regular walking may protect the eyes and help prevent age-related vision loss. Reported in the February edition of the Journal of Neuroscience http://bit.ly/1lVsshF, this research team recorded the results of moderate exercise on the speed of deterioration to the light-sensitive retinal cells. Scientists believe the discovery has important implications for age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.

Macular degeneration is caused by the death of photoreceptors in the retina, the digital "camera" at the back of the eye which turns light signals into nerve impulses. The research team studied mice that ran on a treadmill for two weeks before and after being exposed to bright light to trigger retinal cell loss and mimic the effects of the disease. Exercised animals ended up with nearly twice as many photoreceptors as mice which spent the same amount of time on stationary treadmill. Their retinal cells were also more responsive to light.

The benefits of exercise to vision partly stem from a growth factor protein called BDNF, the researchers believe. Mice running in the treadmill had higher levels of BDNF in the blood, brain and retina. When the protein's activity was chemically blocked, it cancelled out the protective effect. Lead researcher Dr Machelle Pardue, said, "One previous study that examined the effects of exercise on vision in humans had examined a select group of long distance runners. Our results suggest it's possible to attain these effects with more moderate exercise." http://huff.to/Sxc2C2

Physical exercise will remain a primary requirement for maintaining a healthy life, not only to prevent ischaemic heart disease but also as a measure of reducing related circulation diseases, muscular dystrophy and even as a safeguard to neural deterioration and dementia. Research teams are now looking into other preventative benefits of exercise which may also help combat other retinal diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

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Maria Camanes Fores
Chemist Direct
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