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City optometry researchers invited to parliamentary reception at Portcullis House

Professor David Edgar and Dr Rakhee Shah invited to event hosted by Debbie Abrahams MP

by George Wigmore (Senior Communications Officer)

Optometry researchers at City have been invited to contribute to a parliamentary reception on dementia and visual impairment hosted by Debbie Abrahams, the Labour MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth who is co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia.

Taking place at Portcullis House, and involving the College of Optometrists, the reception aims to raise awareness of the issues and provide a better understanding of the barriers faced by people with dementia and how their eye care can be improved.

The invitation follows on from the publication of the Prevalence of Visual Impairment in People with Dementia (PrOVIDe) report last year which looked at whether over 700 people with dementia were getting the eye care that they needed. The collaborators included researchers from City, University of London along with other UK universities in partnership Thomas Pocklington Trust and the Alzheimer’s Society. The research was led by the College of Optometrists and the study was funded by the NIHR.

In particular, the PrOVIDe study suggests that improved eye care and the resulting improvement in vision can have a variety of benefits – both visual and non-visual – for people with dementia, and that the prevalence of visual impairment is disproportionately higher in people with dementia living in care homes

At City, Professor Dave Edgar was the optometric advisor and lead for the quantitative phase of the study and Dr Rakhee Shah was the project manager. Both Rakhee and Dave were major contributors to the drafting of the final project report.

Dr Shah said:

“It’s an honour to be invited to speak at parliamentary reception held to discuss what is a very important issue. In the UK there are around 850,000 people with dementia, and it is incredibly important that they receive the eye care they need. We hope that the findings from the PrOVIDe project and subsequent recommendations emerging from this research can help achieve this aim.”

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.