The Alabama Study on Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ALSTAR) (R01-AG04212)

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ALSTAR is a prospective cohort study funded by the National Institute on Aging/NIH. The study is designed to address the question of whether rod-mediated dark adaptation impairment in older adults in normal macular health as measured at baseline is associated with incident development of AMD three years later. As we enrolled persons in the cohort, some were indeed in good macular health in both eyes based on grading of digital fundus photos of the macula using the 9-step AREDS grading system. Normal macular health was defined as AREDS grade = 1 in both eyes. However, some were identified through the grading as having AMD in one or both eyes (AREDS grade ≥ 2). All persons are being followed prospectively regardless of normal macular health status versus AMD status. All enrollees were recruited through two primary eye care practices in the Callahan Eye Hospital, Birmingham, Alabama.