UCL Institute of Ophthalmology



Aims and focus of the research

AMD is the commonest cause of severe visual loss and blindness in Europe and affects almost 30 percent of the older population. This chronic disease progresses slowly from early AMD to intermediate AMD (iAMD) and ultimately late-stage AMD with severe and frequently irreversible visual loss.
Late-stage AMD affects more than 2.5 million patients in the EU. To date, there is no treatment to cure or delay the progression of the disease.  Treatment is only available to stabilise the late ‘wet’ form of the disease but not cure it.  There is no treatment for the late ‘dry’ form of the disease.  To reduce severe visual impairment and blindness due to AMD, novel therapies and drugs are urgently needed. MACUSTAR aims to lay the ground for innovative drug development by developing and validating novel clinical endpoints for future clinical trials in iAMD and to gain new insights into the progression from iAMD to late AMD.

Within MACUSTAR we are characterising the extent of visual function decline experienced by people with iAMD, and aiming to develop and validate functional, structural and patient-reported outcome measures for iAMD. In addition, risk factors for progression from iAMD to late AMD are being investigated. 
To try to understand the real-world impact of iAMD, we are also examining the impact of changing light levels on the ability of people with iAMD to read and navigate in a collaboration with the UCL Pedestrian Accessibility Movement Environment Laboratory (PAMELA).