Raising Awareness and Funds to Support Research and Programs at the Kellogg Eye Center

MHBB 2022: TBD in MARCH, 2022 - Coming soon!

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MHBB 2020 Donations will go toward
Amazing Research at University of
Michigan Kellogg Eye Center

Every year, the proceeds from March Hoops To BEAT Blindness are dedicated to a specific research program at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. The program is chosen for its innovative approach and focus on treating and finding cures to blinding conditions.


This year, funds from
March Hoops to BEAT Blindness 2020 will go to support the research of Dr. Yannis Paulus , MD, FACS and his Retinal Imaging and Laser Laboratory . He is an expert in Ophthalmology, specializing in Retina Surgery.

One specific area of interest for Dr. Paulus is developing techniques for early disease diagnosis and treatment monitoring for Macular Degeneration. This is a very common disease affecting over 10 million Americans. There is much to learn about how to detect - or even predict - the disease before it results in vision loss, to stop the progression of the disease, and to preserve vision.

https://sites.google.com/a/umich.edu/yannis-m-paulus-md-lab/

MACULAR DEGENERATION

Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of irreversible blindness, affecting over 10 million Americans. The damage it inflicts on the retina is considered irreversible.

Macular Degeneration is caused by deterioration of the retina, which is the back layer on the inside of the eye. The retina captures visual images and sends them through the optic nerve to the brain like the film of a camera.

Macular Degeneration occurs when either abnormal blood vessels grow in the retina and leak or burst, thereby destroying retina cells ("wet" macular degeneration) or retina cells thin out and deteriorate due to age or other factors ("dry" macular degeneration).

In early stages of Macular Degeneration, people often do not detect vision loss. However, when vision loss occurs, it can occur suddenly and often is not recoverable. Most vision loss begins with a partial or complete loss of vision in the center of a person's field of vision.

Although there is no known cure, research that leads to early detection of Macular Degeneration - and therefore early treatment of the disease - can lead to slowing and even preventing vision loss.


What is the Research Program?

Dr. Paulus's research in this field focuses on developing techniques to capture high precision images of the retina. And when we say high precision, we are talking super-small, super-detailed images like the one here. Notice this is at a scale of 200 microns, or about 7 one-thousandths of an inch!!!

At this magnification and resolution, Dr. Paulus can begin to detect abnormal blood vessels in the retina. Abnormal blood vessels leak and bleed which cause vision loss and blindness.

Because each person is different, understanding how to detect the abnormal blood vessels is vitally important to understanding who needs to be treated for their own risk of Macular Degeneration.

 


What Research Is Being Done ?

The techniques to capture these high resolution and precise images are one step, and then developing models to translate these images to a working diagnosis and treatment plan are another. Dr. Paulus is using high precision laser and microscopic equipment to perfect his techniques. It involves developing special molecule-sized particles that can be "activated" by light (called "nano-particles"), hitting the particles with lasers, and capturing the images. Because the views are so microscopic, even the small swaying of buildings can blur the images, and one of his pieces of equipment is a special table that can "float" on air to avoid the problem of non-stationary targets.

This line of research also provides opportunities to develop techniques to track other types of cells. In this image, Dr. Paulus captured the presence of new cells which came from stem cell development treatment and techniques. Understanding how these cells develop and grow lead to further insights and potential treatments for many blinding conditions, and could even pave the way for understanding how to re-grow lost cells!

How Does This Research BEAT Blindness?

Dr. Paulus seeks to enable early diagnosis of macular degeneration, in an effort to prevent vision loss or halt it in those who are already experiencing loss of vision. He is developing techniques that will help identify patients who are at risk to developing this blinding disease, and treatments which will prevent it. In addition, he is pushing to make discoveries which could lead to restoring vision.


More information about Dr. Paulus' Retinal Imaging and Laser Laboratory at Kellogg Eye Center can be found here:

Retinal Imaging and Laser Laboratory


More information about Macular Degeneration care at Kellogg Eye Center can be found here:

Macular Degeneration @ KEC

 

How Will MHBB Help?

MHBB funds will be used to develop new nano-particles, to perform validation and safety studies, and to invest in equipment. More study is needed! Your donation to MHBB will support this important research at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center!


BEAT BLINDNESS - DONATE NOW!

 

 

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