Homocysteine (2004, 2005, 2015) & Macular Degeneration


Learn more about macular degeneration.

2004 Researchers have for some time suggested a connection between high homocysteine levels and wet macular degeneration, the advanced form of AMD.

In one study researchers evaluated 59 patients in a university outpatient ophthalmology clinic with a mean age of 78 years who had wet AMD. They were compared for plasma homocysteine levels with 58 patients who had dry AMD and a mean age of 76.3 years and an aged-matched control group of 56 people with healthy eyes.

After an 8 hour fast, a blood sample was obtained from each participant and levels of plasma homocysteine were measured.

Results: Homocysteine levels were higher by 27.9% in the wet AMD than in the dry AMD group, and by 21.9% than in the control group. Hyperhomocysteinemia was found in 44.1% of the study group, in 22.4% of the dry AMD group, and in 21.4% of the control group.

Published: American Journal of Ophthalmology, 2004 Jan;137(1):84-9.

Researchers: Axer-Siegel R, Bourla D, Ehrlich R, Dotan G, Benjamini Y, Gavendo S, Weinberger D, Sela BA.,Department of Ophthalmology, Rabin Medical Center, Petah Tiqva, Israel

2004-2005 In clinical studies elevated homocysteine is associated with a number of degenerative eye diseases including: macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and optic neuropathy and ocular complications from behcet disease.

It is also associated with accelerating the progression of the aging process. - being a major cause or contributing factor to heart disease, abnormal clotting, dementia, depression , multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons Disease, miscarriage and psoriasis.

Aging, excessive stress, and deficiencies in choline, taurine, n-acetyl-cysteine affect homocysteine levels in the blood.

1. Elevated homocysteine levels in aqueous humor of patients with pseudoexfoliation glaucoma. Bleich S, Roedl J, et al. American Journal of Ophthalmology, July, 2004
2. Plasma homocysteine and total thiol content in patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration. Coral K, Raman R, et al, Eye, April, 2005

2015 Because there have been some inconsistencies in the reports of the relationship of homocysteine levels and risk of advanced macular degeneration taking into consideration vitamin B levels, researchers wanted to evaluate those results.

They reviewed eleven studies involving over a thousand each patients with AMD and controls with healthy eyes. The results substantiated that higher homocysteine levels are associated with wet (advanced) macular degeneration. Of those studies three (152/98 patients/controls) also looked at the B vitamins. The meta analysis results demonstrated that with high homocysteine and AMD, vitamin B12 was also low. The researchers also point out that AMD is a condition in which there are many contributing factors - that vitamin B12 and homocysteine are not the sole indicators.

Researchers: P. Huang, F. Wang, et al.,
Published: Homocysteine and the risk of age-related macular degeneration: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Scientific Reports, July, 2015.