Investigating early onset macular degeneration

Prof Graeme Black, University of Manchester - £164,042

Creating eye cell models from patients with early onset macular degeneration to better understand causes and possible treatments for both early onset macular disease (EOMD) and age-related macular disease (AMD).

What is the problem?

Early onset macular degeneration (EOMD) progresses similarly to AMD, although it tends to affect people at a younger age. EOMD is known to run in families and is often caused by a mutation in a gene called complement factor H (CFH). However, much less is known about EOMD and possible treatments compared to AMD.

What are they doing?

Using cells from families with EOMD, Professor Black and his team will grow retinal cells with the CFH mutation. These retinal cells will act as a model of EOMD and will be investigated to see how they react compared to healthy retinal cells and AMD model cells.

How can this help?

This research on early onset macular degeneration hopes to provide better insight into its progression and possible future treatments. As EOMD is rare, little is known and understood about it. This research could provide help and guidance to people with the EOMD. By better understanding EOMD this might also help us learn more about AMD, due to the similarities in the conditions.