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American Health Assistance Foundation announces grants to advance promising vision research
Date:7/25/2012

Clarksburg, MDThe American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF, www.ahaf.org), a nonprofit organization with a history of funding breakthrough research on age-related vision diseases, announced today that it has awarded 21 new grants totaling $2.1 million to scientists worldwide who are studying glaucoma and macular degeneration. The two conditions are the leading causes of irreversible blindness in the world.

"AHAF is known for pinpointing some of the world's most promising vision research and funding early-stage, innovative projects on these two devastating diseases," said Stacy Pagos Haller, AHAF's president and CEO. "Over the years, AHAF has awarded more than $120 million to advance research, including more than $33.6 million in grants addressing glaucoma and macular degeneration," she noted.

Guy Eakin, Ph.D., AHAF's vice president for scientific affairs, added: "This year's vision research grant recipients are at the forefront of scientific knowledge about these two diseases. Many have developed unique tools and procedures to examine, cell by cell and gene by gene, the causes of and contributors to vision loss. Others are on the verge of developing new therapies to treat these diseases."

National Glaucoma Research Grants

Glaucoma refers to a group of eye disorders often having few or no symptoms in the early stages but eventually causing harm to the optic nerve (the bundle of nerve fibers carrying information from the eye to the brain). Increasingly, researchers are examining this eye-brain connection. With early diagnosis and treatment, the condition can be controlled.

Tragically, people may not realize they have the disease until it has caused permanent visual damage. Of the 3 million Americans living with glaucoma, 2.7 million have its most common form, open angle glaucoma, and as many as half may not know they have it. Worldwide, glaucom
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Contact: Alice Kirkman
akirkman@ahaf.org
301-556-9349
AHAF-American Health Assistance Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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