A first global step to understanding the impact of sight loss

A new study conducted at Moorfields has taken a closer look at the effect geographic atrophy has on patients’ lives and the healthcare costs associated with it.

Geographic atrophy is an advanced form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), affecting over five million people worldwide. In the UK, it is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss in the over 50s. Despite this, its true impact on patients, carers and society are yet to be fully understood.

The research has been led by Praveen Patel, consultant ophthalmologist in the medical retina service at Moorfields. He is also ophthalmology specialty lead at Clinical Research Network (CRN) North Thames, who were the lead CRN for this study. The study is running across England, Germany and Ireland and opened at Moorfields in February this year.

The team recruited the first patient globally to the trial in February 2017 and later became the highest recruiting site in the UK for the study. Patients are still being recruited in other hospitals across the world and the results will be available once recruitment is complete.

Mr Patel ascribes much of the teams’ success to the willingness of patients to take part and believes this can be attributed to the importance of the study. He said: “One of the things I was struck by is how keen our patients were to take part. A large part of this enthusiasm is that patients are eager themselves to better understand the impact of the disease in all aspects of their own lives and they see this as an important and valuable thing to investigate and report through the study”.

It is hoped that this study will help to assess the clinical detail and quality of life of patients with advanced geographic atrophy, with the hope of addressing the key issues in future.

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