Garlive Recovery
Mediterranean Diet special issue

RETINAL DISTROPHY*

Retinal degenerative disorders induce loss of photoreceptors associated with inflammation, and negative remodeling and plasticity of neural retina. Retinal degenerative diseases may have genetic and environmental causes. Retinal degeneration and remodeling involve genetic diseases with Mendelian inheritance or multifactorial diseases with the contribution of external factors. These factors lead to neuronal reprogramming and rewiring events with gene expression alterations, de novo neuritogenesis and novel synapses formation. This causes dendritic alterations and supernumerary axons. Subsequent degenerative changes of retinal pigment epithelium cells initiate a vicious circle promoting chronic inflammation in both retina and choroid. Our research focuses on the study of new genetic variants associated with these diseases and the study of the molecular pathways involved and then investigate natural molecules contained in plants typical of the Mediterranean diet. Flavonoids are polyphenolic molecules with antioxidant activity and dietary intake, specifically of anthocyanins and flavanols, improves oxidative stress and neuro-inflammation. In vitro and ex vivo studies have also revealed biological effects of flavonoids on retinal protection against oxidative stress and inflammation.

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