Guest Blog: Anurag Garg presents his research into glaucoma
Anurag Garg is a Fight for Sight Clinical Research Fellow based at Moorfields Eye Hospital. He recently presented the results of his research at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting in Honolulu.
Tell us a bit about yourself…My name is Anurag Garg and I’m an Ophthalmology Registrar. I’ve taken 2 years out of training to conduct clinical research into glaucoma as part of a degree at UCL. I’m part of a team working on the Laser in Glaucoma & Ocular Hypertension Trial (‘LiGHT’)– a large trial led by Mr Gus Gazzard, that is investigating the effectiveness of a laser therapy compared with drop medication in the treatment of newly diagnosed primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) and ocular hypertension (OHT) patients.
How did you get into vision research?During the early years of medical school, I enjoyed learning about the brain and visual pathway and undertook a Neuroscience BSc to pursue this further. During the year we had a module on vision where we learned about higher visual processing, the eye and visual disorders. We were lectured by inspiring neurologists, ophthalmologists and basic scientists and I found it fascinating. Following the BSc year I was sure I wanted to pursue either neurology or ophthalmology. I liked the practical aspects of ophthalmology and thus decided to pursue this specialty.
I have been involved in smaller research projects throughout my ophthalmology clinical training but wanted to become involved in a more substantial research project. It’s exciting to currently be part of a research team involved in a trial that is aiming to improve care for newly diagnosed glaucoma and ocular hypertension patients. The LiGHT trial is assessing quality of life, cost effectiveness and clinical efficacy of initial laser compared with initial drop treatment and the results of the study could help to inform how we should be treating these patients in the future.
I was happy to be selected to present at ARVO this year (…and to be able to visit Hawaii). We presented the preliminary 12-month clinical results of the laser arm. Early clinical results demonstrate that laser treatment is effective at lowering intraocular pressure, whilst avoiding the need for eye drop medication and the problems associated with this. This was my first time at ARVO, so I attended as many sessions as I could. There was so much going on at any one time, so I had to carefully plan a daily timetable of talks and presentations to go to. There were talks on new developments in glaucoma, upcoming glaucoma clinical trials as well as a symposium on analysis of patient report outcome measure (PROMS) in glaucoma that I attended.
Tell us about ARVO 2018 in Hawaii...
I first became aware of Fight for Sight when I was seeking research funding for part of my MD. I submitted an application for a Small Grant Award and thankfully was successful. The funding I have received has been invaluable. It has allowed me to attend courses related to data analysis, purchase equipment needed for my research as well as contribute towards attending ARVO 2018 to present my work. I’m very grateful for the funding I’ve received and am very thankful to Fight for Sight.
How did you hear about Fight for Sight?
You can read more about Anurag's research here.