This review article offers an up to date review of the genetic and environmental risk factors associated with aetiology surrounding age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The article briefly describes the typical clinical presentation relating to early and late stages of the disease. The recent discovery of the highly toxic Aβ peptide in the ageing retina serves as the main review point. The authors describe recent studies conducted on the amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene located on chromosome 21q21. For those interested in the underlying pathophysiology of AMD this is a detailed account of recent evidence to explain the ageing retina. There are no direct clinical links but a good overview of the underlying aetiology.