New funding for glaucoma research

Jun 17, 2010

Fight for Sight, a UK leading eye research charity, has awarded two new grants totalling £350,000 for research into glaucoma ? one of the leading causes of preventable blindness in the UK

Fight for Sight, a UK leading eye research charity, has awarded two new grants totalling £350,000 for research into glaucoma – one of the leading causes of preventable blindness in the UK.

Glaucoma affects 1 in 50 people over the age of 40 in the UK and yet half of people affected are unaware of their condition.

National Glaucoma Awareness Week in the early part of June highlighted the importance of regular eye tests for detecting glaucoma in its early stages.

Dr Forbes Manson at The University of Manchester has been awarded a grant of £151,442 to support his research into the causes of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) – one of the most common forms of the condition.

In POAG, increased pressure causes damage to the cells at the back of the eye often leading to permanent blindness: “The identification of a new POAG gene will be a major step forward and will enable the early detection and treatment of individuals likely to develop the disease, which is vital for avoiding permanent blindness,” said Dr Manson.

Dr Barbara Lorber at the University of Cambridge has been awarded a grant of £199,971 through the Fight for Sight Early Career Investigator Award which is helping young researchers to progress their career in vision research.

Dr Lorber will look at transplanting specialist cells into the eye and optic nerve to repair the damage caused by glaucoma. She said: “Harnessing the positive potential of these specialist retinal cells may open up new avenues in the treatment of glaucoma.”

Michèle Acton, Fight for Sight chief executive, said: “Glaucoma is the second most common cause of sight loss worldwide. By funding new research into the causes of this serious condition and supporting the development of new treatments we are offering real hope to the huge number of people affected by glaucoma.”

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