If you agree to participate in this study, you will undergo one attendance to the research clinic that will last approximately one-half to two hours. Only one visit is required. We will explain to you in a small group as to what the research is about, and answer any questions you may have. You will then be seen individually from then to the end of your participation.
We will ask you to provide a DNA sample by swabbing the inside of your cheek. A member of our team will do this for you if you wish. You should not eat, drink, chew gum or smoke within 30 minutes before you arrive for your appointment as these activities will interfere with the swab results. At a future date (within the next 2 years), we may like to recall some participants who may show particular changes in their images and gene tests to return for blood specimens that will allow more detailed tests for clarification of our findings. Approximately 1-2 teaspoons of blood will be collected from you on that occasion, if you agree.
We will test your eyesight by asking you to read letter chart (similar to that used by opticians) whilst wearing your long distance or driving glasses. If you wear contact lenses, it is necessary to remove them before instilling drops in your eyes. It is therefore necessary for you to bring your distance glasses with you.
We will measure your eye pressure similar to what occurs at the optician or the hospital eye clinic, as well as the length of your eye.
We will take photographs of the back of your eyes after instilling dilating eye drops. Some of the time we can take these photographs without using any eye drops. However, most of the time, the photo quality is not adequate without eye drops. As such, for this research, you will have eye drops instilled in each eye in order to dilate your pupils in order to acquire a better quality image of the back of your eyes. The dilation may last for up to 2 hours so you will not be able to read or drive a car or that period of time and you should therefore refrain from driving to the research clinic.
We will request you to complete a health questionnaire on a tablet device or with the help of one of our researchers, or you may return it on paper, and contents transferred on to the tablet by one of our researchers, if you prefer. The questionnaire which will not have your name but unique study identification number, will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and includes questions about your medical history and current medications. You do not have to answer any particular questions you prefer not to.
At a future date (within the next 2 years), if you agree, we may like to recall some participants who may show particular changes in their images and gene tests to return for blood specimens that will allow more detailed tests for clarification of our findings. Approximately 1-2 teaspoons of blood will be collected from you on that occasion, if you agree.
If any other disease is detected during this study we will recommend follow-up examinations at your own doctor or local eye specialist, but these follow-up examinations are not considered part of the study. However, such a situation is uncommon as most participants attend regular eye tests at the optician who normally will look at the back of their eyes. Possible conditions that may be picked up include changes in the nerve at the back of the eye due to high pressure in the eye (called glaucoma), changes due to diabetes, and rarely a tumour at the back of the eye.
The genetic material (DNA) extracted will be extracted from the anonymised samples in Bridlington, and processed in the laboratory of Professor Gregory Hageman at the University of Utah, USA. The samples will be analysed for genetic changes that have been shown to be associated with increased risk for developing AMD.