American Health Assistance Foundation Awards New Grants For Promising AMD, Glaucoma Research

by Admin on August 1, 2012

(MacularDegenerations.com) The American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF) is once again putting its money where its mouth is as it concerns funding cutting-edge research into age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other eye-related disorders.

According to a 25 July press release, the non-profit entity that funds research on age-related vision impairment announced this morning that it has awarded USD 2.1m, divvied up among 21 new grants, to scientists spanning the globe who are studying AMD and glaucoma. As it turns out, the two aforementioned eye conditions are the leading causes of irreversible vision loss internationally. And the problems is only expected to get worse as populations continue to age now that advances in modern medicine have upped life expectancy rates.

AHAF Chief Executive Officer Stacy Pagos Haller said in the press release that the non-profit organization has a reputation for finding and funding some of the globe’s most promising projects focusing on vision. She added that AHAF has, up to this point, awarded in excess of USD 120m to fund research into vision issues. Meanwhile, Guy Eakin, vice president of scientific affairs at AHAF, said in the press release that those who are receiving funding this year are leading the charge to research AMD and glaucoma.

According to the press release, the following are highlights of AMD grants:

Dr. Kristen Farjo from the University of Oklahoma is working to create a new way to tackle dry AMD. His approach involves using methods to lessen the buildup of harmful vitamin A derivatives in the eye’s retina.

Dr. Haoyu Mao from the University of Florida, Gainseville, is looking into the delivery of various drugs for their potential to help those with AMD. One of the compounds being studied has already progressed through Phase III clinical trials, albeit for a different medical condition altogether.

Dr. Milam Brantley from Vanderbilt University is researching the environmental risks for AMD. He is employing a metabolomics method to gauge the levels of lots of different metabolic markers in the blood to determine environmental influences on AMD risk factors.

AMD occurs when the macula deteriorates. This condition hinders peoples’ capacity to see straight ahead. At present, there are only a handful of treatments for wet AMD, but there is no treatment to stop vision loss in those with advanced dry AMD.

Reference: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/american-health-assistance-foundation-announces-new-grants-for-promising-vision-research-2012-07-25

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