Research into computer modelling for earlier DR detection

Article

A research initiative to develop new techniques for early detection of diabetic retinopathy (DR) is currently under way at the University of Lincoln, UK.

A research initiative to develop new techniques for early detection of diabetic retinopathy (DR) is currently under way at the University of Lincoln, UK.

DR is the most common cause of vision loss in individuals of working age, and estimates hold that in England, 4,200 individuals are at risk for blindness caused by DR each year, with 1,280 new cases identified annually.

Marie Curie Researcher Georgios Leontidis is currently investigating new methods for early screening and diagnosis of DR by developing computer models that can detect small changes in the blood vessels of the eye as part of the Retinal Vascular Modelling, Measurement and Diagnosis (REVAMMAD) project undertaken by researchers at the University of Lincoln, which has been awarded 900,000 euros by the European Union's 7th Framework (FP7) Marie Curie Initial Training Network program to lead the project.

An electronics and computer engineer, Georgios is investigating the effects of diabetes on the retina's vessel walls and how this could affect the flow of blood in the whole vasculature of the retina.

"Here at the University of Lincoln, our efforts focus on analysing images of diabetic patients before the first stage of diabetic retinopathy," said Georgios. "In that way we want to see what changes diabetes causes to the retina vessels and how these changes progress to retinopathy. We will then try to correlate the standard features we extract from these images with functional changes that occur, such as abnormality in blood pressure, blood flow volume and blood flow velocity, as well as to associate them with some risk factors like age, type of diabetes, duration of diabetes, gender and smoking," he added.

For more information on the REVAMMAD project, visit the project blog revammad.wordpress.com

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