Eye research plays a critical role in tackling the global health burden of blindness and improving the
Clinical trial patient Golda Hough features on the front cover.
lives of millions of people experiencing vision loss.
That’s the message from the Centre for Eye Research Australia’s Annual Review, The Big Picture, which tells the story of our work and the vital importance of finding new cures and treatments for the estimated 1.3 billion people suffering from impaired vision worldwide.
“Diseases like glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration are now the world’s leading causes of irreversible blindness, ” says CERA’s Managing Director Professor Keith Martin.
“With a rapidly ageing population, the growing prevalence of diabetes and millions at risk of losing their sight from genetic disorders, research into eye health has never been more important.”
In 2018 CERA:
- published 184 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals
- helped more than 1000 patients in 21 clinical trials, and
- attracted $8.2 million in government and philanthropic grants, bequests and donations
Key research highlights included:
- our work on the Bionic Eye Project, in partnership with Bionic Vision Technologies, which successfully restored a sense of sight in four patients
- the development of an artificial intelligence screening tool to detect blinding eye diseases and a non-invasive eye test to detect the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease
- the release of the LEAD study which showed that a new type of laser treatment could slow vision loss in some patients with early stage age-related macular degeneration, and
- our advocacy for a national eye screening program for the 1.3 million Australians with diabetes that led to the Commonwealth Government committing funds to the KeepSight program.
Professor Martin says CERA’s achievements over the past year would not be possible without the contributions of our many supporters.
“Great research is a partnership and would not be possible without the generosity and support of our individual donors, philanthropic trusts and foundations, corporate partners, industry, our member organisations and our partners in the eye health and research sector, both in Australia and internationally,” he says.
“We also pay tribute to the many patients who take part in our clinical trials and who inspire us to find better treatments to save sight and restore lost vision.
The Annual Review features clinical trial patient Golda Hough on the front cover.
At the age of 70, Golda learned she had mid-stage age-related macular degeneration and that she qualified for the LEAD trial.
“I feel so lucky and privileged that I got onto this trial, and that it might help my condition,” she says.
You can read or download an accessible PDF version of CERA’s the 2018 Annual Review here.