Research appeal

Professor Luminita Paraoan and team,
University of Liverpool

As a charity we rely entirely on donations to fund research into new treatments and eventually a cure for macular conditions. You can help fund dedicated researchers as they carry out this vital work by donating to our Research Appeal. As people live longer the number of people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) continues to increase, making it more important than ever to fund research.

With your help we can find a cure

By donating you will help bring new researchers into the field of macular research. Thanks to the generous donations of our members and supporters, macular research projects have received more than £3.1 million during the past 15 years.

Bright young PhD students have been funded at the start of their careers and we have also funded research projects in their early stages, such as The London Project to Cure Blindness. This has helped projects gain further and greater funding for treatments and cures for macular disease. 

As well as trying to find new treatments and a cure, the groundbreaking research programme you fund aims to find out why early stage macular disease develops into late stage disease so that a way to intervene and prevent it developing can be found. Your support, no matter what the amount, is urgently needed to achieve this goal. 

Most recent funding 

Professor Andrew Dick, University of Bristol - Epigenetic regulation in the pathogenesis of AMD

This project investigates a protein in the eye, its role in the degeneration of the retina and the loss of vital retinal epithelium (RPE) cells that help us see.

The RPE cells form a thin layer underneath the light-detecting photoreceptors and are among the first to be damaged in early AMD.  

Researchers believe the project will show the protein is crucial to maintaining healthy RPE cells, controlling the cells from the inside as well as working outside to protect them. This would suggest the protein could be used as a treatment to prevent the progression of AMD. 

Professor Luminita Paraoan, University of Liverpool -Gene editing of AMD risk factor in retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE): could modulation of proteolytic control lead to new therapeutic interventions for AMD?

This project will look at the relationship between a particular protein in RPE cells and the risk of developing AMD. 

Researchers will study a protein called cystatin C and a mutated version known as ‘variant B cystatin C’. People who carry the mutated form of the protein are at an increased risk of developing AMD at an earlier age. 

The project will provide important insights into how AMD develops, potentially contributing to the design of new treatments, which may reduce or prevent sight loss in the future.

Dr John-Paul Taylor, Newcastle University - Treating visual hallucinations in people with macular degeneration: a non-invasive stimulation study 

Nearly half of all people who develop macular disease experience recurrent visual hallucinations, a condition known as Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS). These hallucinations can be highly disturbing and there is very limited evidence about how they can be treated.

This project aims to determine whether applying a mild electrical current to the head, called non-invasive transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), can be used to treat CBS in people with macular disease. 
 

Further information

For further information about any of the projects listed above please email research@macularsociety.org. We need to do so much more, so that ultimately we can find a cure for macular disease. 

We want to encourage more groundbreaking projects but can’t fund all the high-quality research project applications we receive. To keep the momentum going and fund more vital projects we urgently need to raise more funds for research.
 

How your donation will help

  • £25 provides a bottle of tissue culture medium needed to grow cells for clinical testing.
  • £40 buys a box of sterile microscope slides, essential for any laboratory. 
  • £300 buys an antibody for investigating the immune system in clinical research.
  • £1,000 will store, maintain and transport donor eye tissue for a researcher for one year.
  • £5,000 will buy equipment for the Taylor project which may help to stop people experiencing Charles Bonnet Syndrome. 
Donate Now