Research from City, University of London investigates patient acceptability of treatments that could potentially slow down the advanced stages of dry age-related macular degeneration.

By Mr Shamim Quadir (Senior Communications Officer), Published

The Crabb Lab at City, University of London has been awarded an almost £100k grant to investigate how acceptable patients find new intraocular injection treatments, which could potentially slow the progression of the advanced stages of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The Crabb Lab’s Professor David Crabb and Dr Deanna Taylor explain age related macular degeneration (AMD) during Macular Week 2019

There are currently no proven treatments for dry AMD, which is a common, and irreversible disease of the central area of the back of the eye (retina) that we use to see the world clearly.

Dry AMD usually first affects people in their 50s and 60s with early symptoms including blurring and distortion of vision. Symptoms can progress to loss of vision and have a devastating impact on a person’s quality of life.

However, potential new treatments involving injections into the jelly-like part of the eye (vitreous humour) are likely to be available soon, with the intended effect of reducing symptom progression in later stages of the disease - a stage known as geographic atrophy.

Awarded by North West London University Healthcare NHS Trust, the grant will run until the end of 2023 and allow the researchers to continue to explore the impact of the disease on the quality of life of patients living with it, and the trade-offs they are willing to make to prevent further visual decline.

The aim is to understand what factors influence these patients’ acceptance of injection treatments, which will influence their motivation to continue treatment and ultimately their outcomes.

It is hoped such knowledge could guide the design and delivery of geographic atrophy treatments within clinical services, and maximise patient benefit when they become available.

David Crabb, Professor of Statistics and Vision Research and lead of the Crabb Lab at the Centre for Applied Vision Research, City, University of London, commented:

Potential new treatments for geographic atrophy are good news for patients and their families. Yet they will come at a cost of a huge treatment burden. Our funded research, done in conjunction with an NHS partner, will focus on this dilemma.

Find out more

Visit the Crabb Lab webpage.

Read the study protocol in the journal, BMJ Open:  'Acceptability of intravitreal injections in geographic atrophy: protocol for a mixed-methods pilot study'.

Visit the Macular Society website to learn more about macular disease and where to get support.