Imagine Eyes has installed rtx1 Adaptive Optics Retinal Cameras at four ophthalmology centers in Europe, for an international study that aims at better preventing blindness caused by age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
AMD is a very common cause of blindness that affects 200 million people. It is a complex and diverse disease that impacts the central part of the retina. Unfortunately, doctors currently don’t know which patients will develop the sight-threatening stage of the disease. Some patients progress slowly, or not at all, while others quickly deteriorate.
The new research is headed by Professor Andrew Lotery at the University of Southampton. Thanks to nearly £ 4M in grant funding from the Wellcome Trust, the project implements state-of-the art imaging – including adaptive optics – as well as artificial intelligence techniques in order to predict which patients are at higher risk of losing sight. 400 patients with early AMD are being enrolled and will have their eyes scanned every four months.
In a news posted on the Southampton University website, Professor Lotery explained:
“Our research aims to pinpoint what makes AMD progress towards visual loss, and enable us to better predict which patients will progress to the late stages of the disease. By understanding more about these markers and why AMD develops, we will be able to better inform patients, clinicians and researchers on prevention, screening, and individualised treatment strategies.
“Ultimately it will help us make sure patients are in the right place – with some in the community and those who need specialised treatment in hospital – and will also help us manage capacity better. We will be able to run clinical trials more effectively and thus allow faster development of new treatments. We expect the research to give us new insights into how the disease develops and new treatments will result from this.”
This project is being carried out in collaboration with an international team of co-investigators who have the best track records in AMD research: Professor Sobha Sivaprasad, University College London; Professors Toby Prevost and Daniel Rueckert, Imperial College London; Professor Henrik Scholl, University of Basel; Dr Lars Fritsche, University of Michigan; Professor Ursula Schmidt-Ehrfurth and Dr Sebastian Waldstein, Medical University of Vienna.
To learn more about this research on the Southampton University website, click here
To read more about the rtx1 Adaptive Optics Retinal Camera click here.