Programme(s) to which this project applies:
|☑ MPhil/PhD||☒ MRes[Med]||☑ URIS|
AMD is the most common eye disorder in elderly. It accounts for 8.7% of all blindness worldwide. The prevalence is rising as the population ages. Owing to disease complexity, effective treatment options are limited. For early AMD, there is no specific therapy.
Supplements including vitamins C and E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc and copper (AREDS2 formulation) can delay the progression of non-neovascular AMD but cannot cure the disease. For neovascular AMD, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs and photodynamic therapy are widely used  but they only temporally control the abnormal blood vessels. Meanwhile, no effective therapy is available for geographic atrophy .
Several epidemiological studies have indicated the positive association of AMD with diabetes and diabetic retinopathy (DR). Diabetes is a world epidemic affecting approximately 463 million adults (20-79 years) in 2019; by 2045 this will rise to 700 million (IDF Diabetes Atlas 9th edition 2019). It is an endocrine disorder with serious consequences and has caused 4.2 million deaths (IDF Diabetes Atlas 9th edition 2019). An ophthalmic complication of diabetes is DR, another devastating principal but preventable blinding condition in the working-age populations.
The evidence from large epidemiological studies suggests that it may be possible for AMD and DR to share similar pathological processes. It is therefore crucial to undertake studies to elucidate the association of AMD and DR and the underlying mechanisms. It is also essential to test the hypothesis whether better glycaemic control and DR prevention in diabetic patients may reduce progression of AMD from dry non-neovascular AMD to advanced AMD such as neovascular AMD and geographic atrophy.
Dr ACY Lo, Department of Ophthalmology
Dr Amy Lo obtained her PhD from the Department of Neuroscience in Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and joined the then newly established Eye Institute in Sep 2006. One of the PI’s research themes is neuroprotection in retinal ischemia/reperfusion using various mouse models. She has track record on understanding the pathogenesis of retinal ischemia from which several papers are published. She is well trained in rodent retinal phenotypic analyses.
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