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Hypoglycemia May Hasten Age-Related Vision Loss

Hypoglycemic mice show 100-fold decrease in retinal function as they age

THURSDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Hypoglycemia can hasten age-related vision loss in mice, according to a report published online Dec. 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Robert Barlow, Ph.D., of the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, and colleagues measured the effects of hypoglycemia on vision using mice with a mutation in the glucagon receptor gene.

The investigators found that as the mice aged from 9 to 13 months, retinal function decreased by over 100-fold, which eventually led to retinal cell death and vision loss. Feeding the mice a high-carbohydrate diet delayed vision loss by several months.

"Linkage between low blood glucose and loss of vision in mice may highlight the importance for glycemic control in diabetics and retinal diseases related to metabolic stress as macular degeneration," the authors write.

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