Universities across Europe are teaming up to combat the rising epidemic of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Through this collaborative effort, European researchers hope to create novel treatment and early detection technologies for better addressing dry AMD.
This study (called the Macustar Project) involves 20 European clinical sites as well as the non-profit Association for Innovation and Biomedical Research on Light and Image (ALIBI). Germany's University of Bonn will head this pan-European project and give roughly £14 million to different research institutes.
Universities involved in this research will develop new treatments as well as clinical trials. A few specific areas of interest include vision testing technology, imaging techniques, and new pharmaceuticals.
In the 20 approved European clinical sites, doctors will collect data from around 700 AMD patients. As mentioned above, all of this data will solely focus on people with the dry AMD.
City, University of London is already leading the Macustar Project's operations in the UK. The University of Bonn donated £260,000 to the British university. Both University College London (UCL) and Moorfields Eye Hospital will also get involved in the Macustar Project.
City, University of London, actually began research into AMD back in September of 2017. City researchers are looking at various visual function tests from AMD patients at Moorfields Hospital.
The two major professors from City, University of London, involved in the research are Doctors David Crabb and Alison Binns. Both professors lecture in the university's Optometry & Visual Sciences division.
When asked what City's main goal in the Macustar Project was, Dr. Crabb said, "We hope this project will develop methods to detect key changes in the disease progress." Professor Crabb went on to say that the Macustar Project will definitely benefit from using Moorfields Hospital's impeccable medical facilities.
Dry AMD affects 9 out of every 10 AMD patients around the world. This eye disease is characterized by the gradual deterioration of the retina. A few visual symptoms that accompany dry AMD include hazy vision, visual floaters, and difficulty seeing in dimly lit rooms.
There's no cure for AMD, but doctors can reverse the disease's symptoms if caught early enough. A few treatment options include blood vessel growth inhibitors, laser surgery, and vitamin supplementation.
Unfortunately, many AMD symptoms don't occur till the disease has progressed a great deal. Early detection from a trained ophthalmologist is key to helping patients avoid blindness. Doctors recommend everyone over the age of 40 get an annual eye exam to check for AMD and other eye diseases like glaucoma and cataracts.
Founded in 1989, ALIBI supports transnational projects in the medical sciences. This Portugal-based organization has been ISO 9001 certified since 2004.
For more information on the Macustar Project, people can contact the University of Bonn's Communications Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. The university also publishes press releases on its website and has Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube pages.
City, University of London's main campus is located on Northampton Square in Clerkenwell. For more information on City's latest findings, anyone can contact this university via this webpage or by calling 020 7040 5060.