DME patients needed for clinical trials

Brisbane based volunteers are needed to trial a treatment for macular oedema, an eye condition caused by diabetes that can lead to severe vision loss and blindness.

The Queensland Eye Institute is currently looking for participants to join the important study.

Principal Investigator Associate Professor Anthony Kwan said about half of all people with diabetic eye disease will develop macular oedema.

“The aim of this trial is to show the treatment is able to reduce the progression of the condition and prevent related vision loss,” he said.

“Participants will receive a treatment injection in their affected eyes for 12 months, which is already available to patients.

“Diabetic macular oedema can progress over a period of months and make it impossible to focus clearly. As it worsens, blurring occurs in the middle or just to the side of the central visual field.

“It can happen at any stage of the disease.”

The institute’s clinical trials unit is looking for both males and females over 18 to take part in the study. They must have had cataract surgery or require cataract surgery and have been diagnosed with macular oedema in one or both eyes.

Diabetic macular oedema, or DME, is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetic eye disease. It is caused from the build-up of fluid in a region at the back of the eye called the macula. The macula is important for the sharp, straight-ahead vision that is used for reading, recognizing faces, and driving.

“Unfortunately, vision lost to diabetic macular oedema is sometimes irreversible. Early detection and treatment, such as the one used in the clinical trial can reduce the risk of vision loss,” Prof Kwan said.

“There are specific inclusion and exclusion criteria you must meet in order to participant but we are hoping to get as many patients as possible in Brisbane participating in the trial.

“Participating in the trial would help others in the future. Many treatments we use today are available because large numbers of patients opted to participate in clinical trials to test them just like this one.”

Interested patients can express their interest online. 

Posted: 25 November 2016

Back