Researchers at the University of York are testing techniques that could help people with eye diseases
For Macular Week (26 June – 2 July) we’re highlighting one of our research projects that focuses on the most common macular disease; age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
AMD is the developed world’s leading cause of sight loss and affects more than 600,000 people in the UK.
Professor Antony Morland, University of York, is currently undertaking research to see if small electrical currents can stimulate the brain to protect against physical changes as a result of losing sight from conditions such as AMD.
Professor Morland said: “We already know that AMD causes the key area of the brain that processes vision to stop receiving signals from the eye. This can cause specific parts of the brain to shrink meaning they are likely to be less receptive to any potential sight restoration treatments; possibly limiting their success.”
As medical research allows the development of new treatments to reverse sight loss, this particular study is tracking the shape and size of the changes in the brain to see how it works over time after vision is lost. They are also testing if these electric currents can work alongside future therapies, like stem cell transplants, to help give sight back effectively.
Michele Acton, Chief Executive of Fight for Sight, said: “Macular Week gives us a great opportunity to talk about macular diseases like AMD which affects the vision of millions of people around the world. But the reality is we’re not talking about vision enough.
“Medical research is vital to stop sight loss. The UK is a leader in this field, but funding is incredibly low. Investing in the lab means finding more effective treatments and cures, saving the eye sight of millions across the globe.”
The results of Professor Morland’s study will be published towards the end of next year. Visit our research page to find out more.