Winning the fight for sight

16 February 2011

Winning the fight for sight

A GCU eye specialist is to lead a £100,000 study into a common childhood visual condition.

Dr Anita Simmers, from the School of Life Sciences, has been awarded a PhD Studentship to investigate new ways to measure and monitor amblyopia.

Fight for Sight, the UK’s leading eye research charity, will fund the project, which was one of just seven selected from 43 applications from across the UK.

Amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye, is a childhood condition where crossed eyes or a difference in the strength of the eyes leads to abnormal development of the visual areas of the brain. If left untreated, it can cause permanent sight problems.

Dr Simmers will use the Fight for Sight funding to develop a better understanding of how the condition affects the brain.

She said: “This study will have an immediate clinical impact in identifying for the first time the role visual distortions play in the prognosis and treatment of human amblyopia. 

“The results of the study will also highlight the need to treat amblyopia ‘binocularly’ ie correlate the visual input from both eyes, this would be a fundamental shift in clinical practice.”

Michèle Acton, Fight for Sight’s Chief Executive, said: “Through these grants we are helping researchers to find ways of preventing and treating a number of serious eye conditions. We are also helping to support a new generation of vision scientists.” 

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