Macular disease top priority in UK eye research

Posted: Tuesday 04 June 2024
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Macular disease has been identified as a top priority for eye care research in the UK over the next five years, according to a new study published in the journal Eye.

The study surveyed 2,240 healthcare professionals, patients, carers, researchers, and charity support workers to map out research priorities for ophthalmology in the UK.

Led by Professor Rupert Bourne from Cambridge University Hospital and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), the research project, conducted by the UK Clinical Eye Research Strategy (CERS) group, updated research priorities established by the James Lind Alliance (JLA) and Sight and Vision Loss Priority Setting Partnership (SVLPSP) in 2013.

The study highlighted dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as a key area for improvement, focusing on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Other priorities

Other key priorities identified include developing prevention strategies for cataracts, advancing treatments for microbial keratitis affecting the cornea, enhancing integration between primary and secondary eye care, researching the development and progression of refractive errors, initiatives for early detection of childhood eye diseases, improving treatments for glaucoma, and taking a holistic approach to neuro-ophthalmology.

Addressing underfunding of eye research

Geraldine Hoad, head of research grants at the Macular Society, which helped fund the study, emphasised the significance of the study's findings.

She said: “This was an important re-examination of what research is of most importance to patients. It will be used to underpin the direction of clinical research in the future as we develop new ideas for clinical studies and aim to address the underfunding of eye research in the UK.”

Read the full study

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