Dr. Rozakis and xRMD’s Dr. Brian Bakke recently presented their research of Methylation at Southwest General Hospital, where they unveiled their concept of GEMS, or the Genetic Enzymatic Methylation Syndrome.

Macular Degeneration


Published: 02/25/2013

by Patricia Nugent


Local doctors have made a connection between Macular Degeneration—the leading cause of blindness in the aging baby boomer generation—and low hormone levels, genetic abnormalities and methylation pathway biochemistry that controls the bodies’ genetics and defense against oxidative damage.


Dr. George Rozakis, medical director of xRMD in Westlake, says his team of doctors and scientists are finding that medical science supports the use of hormones and the optimization of the methylation biochemical pathways to help prevent and treat patients who suffer from this debilitating disease.


“Thanks to the $4 billion dollar human genome project and advanced testing methods, we can study how genetics and foods impact our body’s ability to fight oxidation and orchestrate the behavior of our genes,” says Dr. Rozakis. “The gene-enzyme errors are part of a new syndrome we call GEMS, which stands for Genetic Enzymatic Methylation Syndrome. We believe that GEMS and the typical hormonal decline that occurs with aging participate in the cause of macular degeneration.”


GEMS can lead to high homocysteine, oxidative stress and unstable genetics, all of which cause degeneration of the macula. High homocysteine levels have been shown to accelerate the conversion of the dry form of the disease to its bleeding form, says Dr. Rozakis.


“The concept behind GEMS is that genetic errors can cause abnormal enzyme speeds in the methylation pathway and cause diseases. If one enzyme is too slow, biochemical processes back up, much like placing stop signs on a busy highway. The opposite is true where stop signs are missing, causing ‘traffic accidents’ leading to migraines and other disorders.”


“Over the years of working with hormones and the supporting methylation pathways, our clinical impression grew that we were seeing early improvement of vision and stability. That the medical literature supports these claims tells us that more study is necessary. Having said that, optimizing hormones and methylation is not only safe, but a path to total wellness. Therefore, I not only recommend it to all my patients, but hope to catch it early because reversal of the disease is unlikely.”


The improvements in vision varied from seeing the eye chart better to improvements in visual field and the ability to convert from bright light to dim light, a process called dark adaptation. These effects happen at the level of the retinal pigment epithelium—the cells which become diseased when macular degeneration strikes.


Hormone restoration stimulates better genetic function in the retinal pigment epithelial cells and targeted nutraceutical support overcomes errors in the methylation pathways that cause oxidative stress and insufficient production of important biomolecules, he says.


“The big idea to stop the development of macular degeneration is to define and strategically reverse all acquired errors of biochemistry as they all conspire to create this disease,” says Dr. Rozakis. “This is done on an individualized basis”.”


It is possible to perform blood work to assess the integrity of a patient’s oxidative, methylation and hormonal status. Genetic testing is also available to further diagnose and guide treatment of the methylation pathway, Dr. Rozakis says.


“We did not anticipate improvement in visual acuity following treatment,” says Dr. Rozakis. “Patients volunteered this observation on their own.”


“There is enough observation and science here to bring this to the attention of patients with this disease and the eye care community,” Dr. Rozakis says.


In addition to Macular Degeneration, the list of conditions associated with methylation pathways or hormonal imbalance is far-reaching—from Alzheimer’s to arthritis, ADHD, autism, cardiovascular disease, depression and migraines, just to name a few.


About Dr. Rozakis
Dr. Rozakis is a pioneering physician in the fields of ophthalmology and personalized medicine. He was the second physician to perform LASIK eye surgery in the United States and has been practicing personalized medicine for almost 10 years.


Free analysis and for more information
To receive more information and an analysis of what strategy may benefit you, simply send an email to Dr. Rozakis at If email is a concern, you may call him at 440-777-2667.


xRMD is located at 29111 Center Ridge Road, next to Spa West, in Westlake. For more information, call 440-505-2222 or visit You can register online for a free consultation.