New studies into the development of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and how it can be stopped or slowed have the potential to change the lives of thousands of children, it has been claimed.
According to Dr Alexandra Dedman, senior research evaluation manager from Action Medical Research, new research being carried out by two separate teams at Belfast"s Queen"s University could save youngsters" sight and improve their lives.
Her organisation has awarded grants for studies into halting ROP progression at a very early age and possible stem cell treatment for the condition and expressed her happiness at the developments.
"We are delighted to be funding these two expert research teams in Belfast who both have longstanding track records, recognised internationally. Their work in this area has the potential to change the lives of babies around the world suffering from this condition," she added.
Meanwhile, recent research carried out by the University of Texas Health Science Center and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that a single injection of Avastin is more effective at preventing retinopathy of prematurity than laser eye surgery, its usual treatment.
by Martin Burns