At the end of this post, you’ll hear from Don Biondich, who has ridden his ‘hog’ on six continents and was a certified pilot of nearly every kind of aircraft class… that is before his vision was ravaged by Macular Degeneration.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a loss of vision because of deterioration in the central portion of the RETINA (the inside surface of the eyeball upon which optical images are focused and then interpreted into sight by rods and cones connected to your brain.)
AMD can be accelerated by genetics and environment, but the root cause, in my opinion, is the same as other age-related diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, COPD, and cancer….
In my opinion, these conditions are all caused by telomere erosion, as explained in my “Stem Cell Theory of Aging.”
———————->> If you actually attempt to read my perspicacious yet bemusing blogs, you are probably very smart and should be asking: “Come on Dr. Park, you think everything is caused by telomere erosion! What is your proof?
Well, in 1999, a very interesting study was performed testing the relationship between retinal cells’ telomere length, senescence and population doubling counts. And, in just a moment, you should understand it as well as I do!
——————–First, let’s first review a few facts that my blog readers already know:
- Cells start with telomeres that measure 10,000 base pairs long but only 4,000 remain in your old age
- Cells populations can double only 60 times before replicative senescence (via the Hayflick Limit) dooms their lineage. The study calls the number of times the colony has divided its “Population Doubling Level” (PDL)
———————- Next, some jargon that you will need to understand this study:
- Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) is a synthetic nucleoside that is an analogue of thymidine (the “T” in the A+T & C+G DNA base pairings.) Antibodies specific for BrdU can be used to detect cells that are still actively dividing (i.e. not yet burned out).
- β-galactosidase is highly expressed and in senescent cells.
———————- And finally, we can all understand the study!
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1999 Jan;40(1):197-202.
Beta-galactosidase histochemistry and telomere loss in senescent retinal pigment epithelial cells.
Matsunaga H, Handa JT, Aotaki-Keen A, Sherwood SW, West MD, Hjelmeland LM.
Department of Ophthalmology, University of California Davis, USA.
PURPOSE: To investigate the relation of senescence-related beta-galactosidase activity and telomere shortening to replicative senescence in cultured human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells.
METHODS: A human RPE cell line was serially passaged until 80% of cells were nondividing in a 72-hour 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) labeling study. Early- and late-passage cells were double-stained for BrdU and senescence-related beta-galactosidase activity (pH 6). The average chromosomal telomere length at several population doublings was estimated by Southern blot analysis after double digestion of DNA with RsaI and HinfI and using a telomere-specific probe.
RESULTS: BrdU-beta-galactosidase double-staining revealed an inverse correlation between the number of BrdU-labeled nuclei and beta-galactosidase-labeled cells as a function of population doubling level (PDL).
In plain English, that means the more times the colony had divided (PDL), the fewer viable (BrdU+) and more burned-out (Beta galactosidase +) cells there were.
At PDL 58, only 20% of all cells labeled for BrdU, whereas 57% stained for beta-galactosidase. The mean terminal restriction fragment length (TRF) was reduced from 10 kb in early (PDL 12) cultures to 4 kb in late (PDL 57) cultures.
In plain English, that means that after dividing 58 of the theoretical 60 times of the Hayflick Limit, only 20% were still alive, and 57% were burned-out. The telomere length in cells that had divided only 12 times was 10,000 base pairs. The telomere length in cells that had divided 57 times was only 4,000 base pairs.
Last week, the FDA approved an embryonic stem cell trial for treatment of Macular Degeneration, which is very promising since there is currently no adequate treatment for the condition which is known to affect 2% of those over 50, and 30% of people over 75. And in my opinion, if people could live that long, it would probably affect 99% of people over 130.
Now, as promised, Don’s email from last week:
I would like to share with you my results using TA 65.
I am 76 years old and in great health for my age. I do have a problem with my eyesight. I have had dry macular degeneration in my right eye for years, however, my eyesight was still excellent. Within the last year and a half my eyesight started to diminish. It is not due to my macular degeneration but rather a loss of vision acuity. All of the ophthalmologists that I consulted said that although I will not go blind my eyesight is slowly going to get worse, so much so that in a couple years I will not be able to drive a car.
Then I saw your TV interview about TA-65 and other news releases on this product and was intrigued about the positive results with eye problems. I am taking four capsules every night and have been doing so for a little over a month. I have noticed that my overall health has improved to the point that I can now stand up from a sitting position without the aid of a product. Now this could be a placebo effect however, I have definite measured results that are very positive as far as my eyesight is concerned.
Because of my macular degeneration I have been using a grid chart for years to make sure that the dry degeneration does not turn wet which is serious. Since I have been using TA-65 the area of the grid chart that used to be distorted is now diminishing and I can see more of the chart that is not distorted.
The other positive results are that I can now use my computer with much more ease and less straining of my eyes. I like to play solitaire on my computer and the cards, of course, are much smaller than regular deck. Before the treatment I had some difficulty in distinguishing the number eight or nine card. I now can make this distinction and I think this is quite amazing and is a positive measured result.
Also, my vision for distance is improving. The reason I can judge this positively is that as I was experiencing the diminished sight I would practice looking at objects around me. Now these objects are getting clearer and brighter.
I will continue with the program and keep records of my improvements.
Thank you very much for your help and guidance,
Disclaimer: The preceding testimony is presented as only one man’s experience.
TA-65 is not a cure nor a treatment for AMD.