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Study to investigate the link between body clock and myopia receive funding

Fight for Sight and the Thomas Pocklington Trust will fund the Ulster University research

16 Dec 2018 by Emily McCormick

Research to understand how a disrupted natural body clock could lead to the development of myopia is being funded by Fight for Sight and the Thomas Pocklington Trust.

A team at Ulster University, which includes Professor Kathryn Sanders, will study children who are considered to be at low and high risk of developing myopia. They will take saliva samples and analyse the melatonin levels present, as well as collet data on family history, sleep quality and personality type.

The findings of the study could provide evidence for the promotion of a healthy circadian rhythm to help prevent myopia.

In the UK, there has been a large increase in the number of children being diagnosed with myopia at a younger age, with statistics showing that figures have more than doubled in comparison to the 1960s.

Director of research, policy and innovation at Fight for Sight, Dr Neil Ebenezer, said: “It’s important to establish if there is any link between circadian rhythm and short-sightedness, which is actually on the increase in children. The knowledge gained from the research project could help the development of new treatments. In the future regulating melatonin levels could pave the way for treating those at risk of myopia.”

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