The mineral zinc may play a role in the development of a common cause of blindness, research suggests.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among elderly people in the developed world.
Researchers found high zinc levels in deposits in the eye which are a marker for AMD development.
The study, published in Experimental Eye Research and led by London's Institute of Ophthalmology, could help the development of new treatments.
AMD is a form of macular disease which affects the eye's retina, and causes loss of central vision.
An estimated 500,000 people in the UK have it, including 40% of people aged over 75.
An early sign of the disease is the formation of microscopic structures called drusen in the eye.
Exactly what the effects of these are and why they form is not yet fully understood.
The latest research found that drusen in eyes with AMD contain very high levels of zinc.
Source - BBC