Research at New England Eye Center
Director of Research,
Department of Ophthalmology
Vice Chair for Research and Education,
Department of Ophthalmology
|Johanna M. Seddon, MD,
Director of Ophthalmic Epidemiology and Genetics Service,
Tufts Medical Center
What's more precious to the quality of life than sight? Considering its importance to every aspect of day-to-day existence and the degree to which it enriches our lives, it is not surprising that loss of sight is the disability that Americans fear the most. As our population ages, eye disease will need to take increasing prominence as a national health priority. Fortunately, this is an exciting time for eye and vision research. Our understanding of eye biology, visual processes, and disease mechanisms is increasing at an accelerating rate.
New England Eye Center has recognized the importance of eye and vision research and the need for programs that translate findings from the laboratory bench into the clinical arena. Over the last ten years, we have built a substantial program that includes the Vision Research Laboratories, the Tufts Center for Vision Research and extensive clinical trials. Our world-renowned scientists collaborate extensively with our clinicians, providing patients with innovative treatment and understanding of eye diseases.
|We invite you to review information on our on-going programs and our research faculty.|
Research programs at the New England Eye Center are funded by:
|National Eye Institute|
|Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund|
|Research to Prevent Blindness|
|The Foundation Fighting Blindness|
|Also: other federal agencies, private foundations, commercial organizations, and philanthropy.|
- 80 million Americans have potentially blinding eye diseases.
- 14 million Americans are estimated to have low vision.
- Visual impairment is one of the ten most common disabilities in America.
- Two-thirds of visually impaired adults are over age 65; between 2000 and 2030 the number of Americans over the age of 65 will double from 34 to 68 million.
- Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in America; research has produced promising new treatments but disease awareness and detection remains low and a cure has yet to be found.
- 3 million Americans have glaucoma; more than half of the people who have glaucoma are not receiving treatment because they are unaware of their condition.
- Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in Americans under 65. Although early diagnosis and treatment has been shown to prevent vision loss is more than 90% of patients, an estimated 50% of patients are diagnosed too late for treatment to be effective.
- African-Americans are twice as likely to be visually impaired as are whites of comparable socioeconomic status.
- The economic cost of visual disability is great - estimated at more than $55 billion per year.
- Many infants and young children are at high risk for vision problems because of hereditary, prenatal and perinatal factors. Research in the 1980s and 1990s found that amblyopia, a leading cause of visual impairment in children, results from visual problems in very early life.
Source: Healthy People 2010 Report