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22nd Annual Meeting of the German Retina Society

German Retina Society

26.06. - 27.06.2009, Berlin

Importance of Macular Pigment and its Modifications after Supplementation and Nutrition in Patients with Age-Related Maculopathy

Meeting Abstract

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  • Ute E. K. Wolf-Schnurrbusch - University Eye Clinic of Bern

German Retina Society. 22nd Annual Meeting of the German Retina Society. Berlin, 26.-27.06.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. DocRG2009-02

doi: 10.3205/09rg02, urn:nbn:de:0183-09rg029

This is the translated version of the article.
The original version can be found at:

Published: June 29, 2009

© 2009 Wolf-Schnurrbusch.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: Macular pigment (MP) is believed to have a protective role in the development and progression of age-related maculopathy (ARM). MP consists of the two hydroxycarotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, reaching the greatest concentration in the photoreceptor axons of the foveola. The protective properties of MP are due to its antioxidative function and the filtering effect for blue light, which causes photo-oxidative injury to the neurosensory retina. Mammalian are not able to synthesize carotenoids by themselves but have to take them in by nutrition.

Contents: Studies showed a significant association between MP optical density and dietary intake of carotenoids, either by dietary modification or by supplementation. Therefore, supplementation with lutein and zeaxanthin could be a therapeutic option for the treatment of ARM. We need to give good answers regarding this topic to our patients.Recently, various methods for quantitative assessment of MP density have been developed. These methods will be discussed with respect of their applications, possibilities, and limitations. Especially, the measurement of MP density with imaging techniques will be discussed in detail. These techniques allow not only the assessment of macular pigment density in the fovea, but provide data on spatial macular pigment distribution in the macula. Current studies on MP density measurements will be summarized and their clinical relevance discussed. Additional factors like live style age, gender, various ethical phenotypes, ocular and systemic diseases will be explored and discussed.