A study led by Queen Mary University London, which included patients from Moorfields Eye Hospital, has found a new protein linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The research team found significantly higher levels of a protein called factor H-related protein 4 (FHR-4) in the blood of AMD patients. Further investigation, using eye tissue donated for medical research, showed the presence of the FHR-4 protein within the macula - the specific region of the eye affected by the disease. These results open up new possibilities for early diagnosis, by measuring FHR-4 levels in the blood, which could lead to better outcomes for some patients with AMD. The results also suggest therapies targeting this protein could potentially provide promising future treatment options for the disease.
This study is an example of how patients participating in research can have an impact on improving the treatment, care and outcomes for patients with the same condition as them.
Anthony Moore, Emeritus Professor of ophthalmology at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital, said: “Patients getting involved in research has made many things possible in eye care, such as identifying this protein, which could help to open many doors in AMD research. We would like to thank all Moorfields patients who have taken part in research and encourage those interested in research to find out more about how they could potentially contribute to future projects.”
Read more about participating in research.
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