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Revolutionary Vita Risk DNA test can help to slow vision loss for patients with AMD!

There is an exciting new development in genetic testing called "Macula Risk PGx" from Arctic DX.  It is a simple cheek swab DNA test intended to determine a patient's risk of progression to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and also help determine which vitamin formulation - antioxidants, zinc, or a combination of both (as in the currently recommended "AREDS" formulation) - would be most beneficial for a patient's genotype.  We recently learned that some patients may benefit more from antioxidants alone, and some from zinc alone, than from the combination found in AREDS vitamins.In 2001, the NIH Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) showed that the risk of patients progressing from intermediate to advanced AMD is reduced by almost 25% with the use of a specific formulation of vitamins and minerals (the AREDS formula).  As a result, most eye doctors have been recommending AREDS formula vitamins to their patients with early macular degeneration.The Vita Risk™ test, which is part of the new Macula Risk PGx test, helps eye doctors to customize eye vitamin therapies for their patients using their DNA information.  Based on results from within the AREDS study population, released in August 2013, it is estimated that patients may be able to more than double their reduction in AMD progression rates by utilizing the Vita Risk™ technology.  In other words, their chances of losing vision and possibly going blind from AMD could essentially be cut in half if they take the right vitamins for their genotype.Early detection and treatment of AMD is critical for the prevention of blindness.  This DNA test is another tool by which retina specialists can help their patients to preserve their precious eyesight.  The physicians of Retina Associates of Cleveland have already been utilizing Macula Risk technology for their AMD patients, and Vita Risk™ testing is available at all nine Retina Associates of Cleveland locations.  Lawrence J. Singerman, MD, is a member of the scientific advisory board for Arctic DX.