The specialised tissue at the back of the eye, known as the retina, captures light and transmits a signal to the brain to allow for the sensation of vision. Remarkably, the central area (4%) of the retina, known as the macula, is responsible for up to 90% of our vision and all of our colour vision. Nutritional pigments, known as carotenoids, are concentrated in the macula where they are known as macular pigment. The three carotenoids which make up macular pigment are meso-zeaxanthin lutein, and zeaxanthin. This pigment plays a vital role for human vision because it optimises the use of light at the macula (via its short wavelength light-filtering properties) and keeps the macula healthy (via its antioxidant properties).
This February at the Energeyes Education event on the 24th at SECO’19, Professor John Nolan will present the latest research on the impact of nutrition for eye health and function. This lecture will discuss the role of targeted micro-nutrition on enrichment of macular pigment and how this leads to visual performance benefits for all patients (not just AMD)!
Professor Nolan is a Fulbright Scholar and currently holds a Chair for Human Nutrition Research at the School of Health Science, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland. Prof Nolan is the Founder and Director of the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI, www.nrci.ie) and is also the Principal Investigator of the Macular Pigment Research Group (MPRG, a specialised research group within this centre). His research group studies the role of nutrition for vision and prevention of blindness. In 2011, Prof Nolan won a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) research grant to study the impact of nutritional supplementation on visual function via two major clinical trials (CREST 281096; Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials). These trials identified how targeted nutrition, with the macular carotenoids (meso-zeaxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin), can improve visual function for the general population, and for patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Current studies at the NRCI are investigating the link between nutrition and brain health and function.
Prof Nolan has published 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers on his area of research (3621 = citations, H index = 38) (www.profjohnnolan.com). In 2014, he successfully edited a CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group book publication entitled “Carotenoids and Retinal Disease” and is currently senior editor of a special issue entitled “Nutrition for the Eye and Brain” to be published this year in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. He also has editorial roles at the European Journal of Ophthalmology and the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Professor Nolan is Chair of the International Brain and Ocular Nutrition Conference (BON Conference), which is held at Downing College, Cambridge University (www.bonconference.org).
Join us at SECO’19 to learn more! The Energeyes Sunday “Brunch & Learn” (held in conjuction with SECO) is taking place on Sunday, February 24th at the Marriott on Canal Street. For full program information or to regisater for the Energeyes Association SECO’19 Program, please visist our website: https://ea.memberclicks.net/seco-19