Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - AGEYE (Aging Eye)

The ageing has both structural and functional consequences for the human visual system; they are mainly related to the loss of the eye´s ability to focus at different distances (presbyopia) and to the crystalline lens’ loss of transparency (cataract). The conventional tools that are used most in the clinical practice to diagnose aging-eye-related conditions are based on subjective methods. Even though subjective tests provide important information, they may not be able to detect and describe the structural and functional changes occurring in the visual system due to age.
The primary research objectives of Ageye was to advance in our understanding of how the eye’s structural and physiological changes occur with age, and to improve the therapeutic alternatives available to restore those visual capabilities that are affected by ageing. We investigated how the visual system responses to different stimuli and combining this information and imaging data of the crystalline lens, we linked the theories of how ageing influences aberrations to the known anatomical changes in the ageing eye. Furthermore, we developed new systems for modelling the anterior surface of the eye and to more accurately identify the position of some ocular structures than this is in done in traditional imaging techniques. In addition, we investigated what complaints expressed by the patients are caused by factors relating to aging of the eye, whether they can be (objectively) measured and correlated to complaints expressed by patients. The partners of the consortium shared their experience and their know-how in the therapeutic solutions for cataract and presbyopia (contact and intraocular lenses). We got a deep understanding of the advantages and drawbacks of the solutions that are currently available for cataract pathology and for presbyopia compensation. In addition, we worked on theoretical and mathematical models to improve the design of contact and intraocular lenses. With all this information, some new designs of ocular prosthesis have been studied to improve adult eye’s visual capabilities that have been affected by the ageing process.
As a result of Ageye 40 papers have been published in international peer review journals, and more than 80 communications have been presented during various international meetings. Apart from the important scientific advances, the project had a huge impact on the career of the students trained within the network. The students have been or will soon be awarded their PhD titles, and most of them found working positions within months after finishing their respective Ageye projects.
In conclusion, the Ageing Eye ITN has provided new knowledge in the ocular ageing field and trained new scientist that will contribute to improve the quality of life of older people.
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Life Sciences
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