The eye research charity Fight for Sight have pooled resources with both Thyroid Eye Disease Charitable Trust, and British Thyroid Foundation to fund two new research projects.
One of the projects, at Moorfields Eye Hospital and led by Miss Swan Kang, will use imaging technique to study blood vessels on the white of the eye in patients who have thyroid eye disease (TED). The hope is that this project will enable early detection of TED and identification of those who are at risk of developing vision loss.
The other, led by Dr Maryse Bailly from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, aims to identify how TED progresses by understanding why and how local cells called fibroblasts turn into fat cells, which cause most of the swelling in TED.
Thyroid eye disease (TED), also known as Graves’ orbitopathy, is an eye condition that causes the muscles and soft tissues in and around the eye socket to swell.
The condition, which affects approximately 16 per 100,000 females and 3 per 100,000 males, can cause dry, bulging eyes, swollen eyelids and double or blurred vision.
It usually happens when you have a problem with your thyroid gland, the gland located in your neck which produces thyroid hormones that help regulate metabolism.
Michele Acton, CEO of Fight for Sight, said: “Thyroid eye disease affects the lives of so many. We are delighted to have formed these partnerships with Thyroid Eye Disease Charitable Trust and British Thyroid Foundation to fund research, which will positively impact those living with TED.”
Rebecca Ford, Chair of the Thyroid Eye Disease Charitable Trust Committee, said: “We are delighted that the small grant award will go to Dr Kang and colleagues. We hope that her investigation… might help to develop objective ways to assess disease activity in this condition and thus to choose appropriate treatments more effectively.”
Janis Hickey, Founder of British Thyroid Foundation, said: “The British Thyroid Foundation welcomes studies that improve care for people with thyroid eye disease and is delighted to once again have the opportunity to partner with Fight for Sight in order to fund much-needed research into TED.”