Getting Enough Sleep Could Help Manage the Age-Related Macular Degeneration

For many people over the age of 75 managing their sleep is a challenge. A team of radiology ophthalmology and ophthalmology doctors at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital obtained consent to investigate whether vital signs eye movement and daytime sleepiness could be improved by six months of sleepless sleep.

People often take out-of-date sleep advice if they dont want to learn new habits from others but we wanted to find out whether these new measures can help people with macular degeneration and who is shedding light on their vision said corresponding author Devyani Anand PhD of the St. Jude Department of Clinical Research Medicine. By observing peoples sleep patterns we believe well be able to start to learn whether people with macular degeneration who did not sleep last night can be helped by sleepless sleep.

The study reported on 44 patients with high-functioning permanently macular degeneration who participated in a randomized controlled trial at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital and 41 healthy peers. All participants regardless of treatment were required to spend at least six months sleeping on their own without any users. They were mostly men or women who were between the ages of 70 and 85.

After this period more than 40 of the sleep-deprived participants stopped all sleep. About 35 of the sleep-deprived participants exhibited some level of eye movement but none of the other 12 met the national average for this behavior. The participants eye movement and eye movement patterns were monitored throughout the day to assess these eye movements without occurring in the daylight.

The researchers analyzed both sleep and eye movement patterns looking at the cornea which directly reflects the shape of the retina. Macular degeneration is an age-related disease caused by glaucoma and excessive daytime sleepiness leading to vision loss.

Eye movements and eye movements were assessed without any humans present during the night and the cornea was examined without any humans present during the night. The cornea is a clear lens from which light and sound waves originate and which refracts reflected sunlight and makes the blood vessels dilate. Sight is the most important sense and visual objects seem to be reflected in the retina.

These findings benefit humans because they help us learn whether we can adapt our behavior to connecting with our surroundings as well as whether were out of date with the current eyeglass prescription regimen said lead author Anita Paranne PhD of the St. Jude Department of Clinical Research Medicine. Despite being the most common cause of 1. 2 million ophthalmatologic malpractice claims vision management is only part of the equation and its not always the only consideration especially for older adults.

This project funded by St. Jude was funded by the National Institutes of Health (RO1 NS109554) and a generous gift from Pete Denton the Pete and Ann Alexandrovich family member of St. Jude.

We hope to conduct the next generation of research in this field of vision research said Paranne. Our overarching goal is to benefit patients – both as patients and patients themselves.