Document Type

Theses, Masters


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Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) to the Dublin Institute of Technology, April, 2011.


The macula is a specialised part of the retina responsible for detailed central and colour vision. The carotenoids, lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin are uniquely concentrated in the inner and central layers of the primate macula, where they are known as macular pigment (MP). It has been shown that MP is entirely of dietary origin and that lutein and zeaxanthin levels in serum, diet and retina correlate. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a disease of the macula and results in loss of central vision. MP, because of its optical filtration and antioxidant properties, may have an important role in the prevention or delay of AMD, and also in the enhancement and preservation of visual performance in healthy individuals.