Cover Story

Some lives can change overnight. Just ask Andrea and Anthony Mete. Two years ago, the young Welland couple noticed their five-year-old daughter Mila was starting to throw up all the time. To make matters worse, she had a series of headaches that were growing in intensity.

After seeing their pediatrician, the Metes were quickly referred to the St. Catharines Hospital. Andrea and Anthony assumed Mila was dealing with a case of severe migraines. But an MRI of their daughter revealed something much more. She had developed medulloblastoma – a rare form of brain cancer – and the resulting tumour was the size of a golf ball.

“It all happened so fast,” Andrea says of the situation. “We were just beside ourselves.”

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The Interview

Vision Quest: Aging with Good Eyesight

An Interview with Dr. Mahmood Piraee

Dr. Mahmood Piraee is a pharmacist with a PhD in molecular and cellular biology from Dalhousie University, Halifax. He has over 20 years of experience in natural products drug discovery and development. We had the opportunity to interview Dr. Piraee recently about age-related vision loss and the nutrients that may help reduce the risks.

Jason Sebeslav: Dr. Piraee, most people assume the vision problem known as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) only affects seniors. Is this true?

Dr. Mahmood Piraee: Macular degeneration and cataracts are now affecting people at a younger age – as early as 40-years-old. Losing your vision is one of the most devastating health conditions you can develop as you get older.

JS: So what’s actually happening in the eye in the case of AMD?

MP: AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people over 50. The macula is a small area in the retina that is responsible for the sharp vision you need to read a newspaper, watch TV and see your grandchild’s first smile. The macula gets damaged in AMD, which will lead to slow loss of your central vision to the point where you can’t drive, read or even recognize faces.

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