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Partnering for eye research

Trio of charities join forces to fund new studies into thyroid eye disease

Michele Acton

Fight for Sight has partnered with the British Thyroid Foundation and the Thyroid Eye Disease Charitable Trust to support two studies into thyroid eye disease (TED).

Affecting tens of thousands of people in the UK, TED is an autoimmune condition that sees part of the eye and eye socket become inflamed. It can cause dry eye, double or blurred vision and sealed eye lids.

Working with the Thyroid Eye Disease Charitable Trust, Fight for Sight will jointly fund a project at Moorfields Eye Hospital. Led by Swan Kang, researchers will pilot three studies using an imaging technique to explore the blood vessels on the white of the eye of patients with TED. 

It is hoped that the study will enable the earlier detection of TED, as well as the identification of those at risk of vision loss.

Alongside the British Thyroid Foundation, the charity has invested in a study by Dr Mary’s Bailly at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology that aims to identify how TED progresses. The researcher aims to investigate why and how local cells called fibroblasts turn into fat cells, which cause more of the swelling in TED. They have grown patient cells in soft gels made of collagen, which mirror what happens in TED.

Speaking about the studies, CEO of Fight for Sight, Michele Acton (pictured), said: “TED affects the lives of so many and we are delighted to have formed these partnerships with the Thyroid Eye Disease Charitable Trust and the British Thyroid Foundation to fund research, which will positively impact those living with TED.”