Glaucoma Appeal 2021
Help us bring hope to people with glaucoma
This autumn, we need your support to continue making life-changing new glaucoma therapies possible.
Vision is precious and no one should ever lose the gift of sight.
We care deeply about conducting eye research and a donation can have real-life impact. With your support, we can continue to make scientific breakthroughs previously thought unattainable.
This World Glaucoma Week 2021,
help our research team develop life-changing therapies so more people with glaucoma like Irene can see clearly.
Every donation, no matter how large or small, helps us bring hope to people affected by vision loss, now and in the future.
Research made Irene’s glaucoma surgery a success
Glaucoma surgery gave Irene Athanassiou the precious gift of keeping her sight, allowing her to continue doing all the things she loves – like going out dancing with her husband George.
For Irene Athanassiou, seeing clearly makes all the simple things in life shine brighter.
Whether she’s cooking delicious foods from her Greek heritage, going out dancing with her husband and their friends, knitting a scarf for her daughter, or just reading a magazine, she thanks her glaucoma surgery for saving her vision and allowing her to experience the full richness of everyday life.
Stopping scarring from glaucoma surgery
Glaucoma surgery is usually very effective, but like all surgeries, it comes with risks. One of these is the formation of scar tissue – a natural healing response – which can hinder the reduction of pressure in the eye and cause the surgery to fail.
Glaucoma researcher Dr Jennifer Fan Gaskin is devoted to discovering new ways to control scarring after glaucoma surgery, giving patients like Irene the best change of keeping their sight.
“Blindness from glaucoma can be prevented, but it has taken the sight of more Australians than any other disease,’’ she says. “Improving glaucoma surgery is one important way we can change that in the future.”
Dr Fan Gaskin’s work is part of an extensive research program at CERA where our dedicated glaucoma researchers are at the forefront of new discoveries and treatments to protect against vision loss and prevent blindness.
Research to regenerate the optic nerve
CERA researcher Professor Keith Martin is leading a team of researchers who used gene therapy to regenerate damaged optic never cells and prevent them from dying after injury.
The team studied whether a gene responsible for producing a protein (protrudin) could stimulate the regeneration of nerve cells. Tests have shown the protein to significantly regenerate cells weeks after an injury to the optic nerve.
This is an important step forward. Professor Martin is continuing this research in 2021 and beyond, with the aim of eventually developing new treatments which in future could restore lost sight.
“What we have seen in this study is by far the most powerful of any regeneration techniques we have tried,’’ says Professor Keith Martin.
Vitamin B3 research shows promise of protecting eye cells
Dr Flora Hui is investigating if vitamin B3 can protect cells affected by glaucoma from further damage, or improve cell function. Initial trials show significant improvement in the eyesight of glaucoma patients who took vitamin B3 for 12 weeks in addition to their regular treatment to reduce eye pressure.
She is now planning a large international follow-up study to determine if the improvement shown in the earlier research can be sustained over the longer term.
Dr Hui’s research offers the potential to transform patient treatment and even reverse damage done to cells by glaucoma.
Thank you for supporting our Glaucoma Appeal 2021
From everyone at CERA, we are sincerely grateful for your support of research with real-life impact.
Every donation, whatever the size, brings our researchers like Dr Jennifer Fan Gaskin closer to discoveries that increase the success of glaucoma treatments and help preserve sight for many Australians like Irene Athanassiou.
Thank you for helping us bring hope to people affected by vision loss and blindness.