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CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
5137 Westlawn
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-8034
e-mail: becky-soglin@uiowa.edu

Release: Sept. 19, 2000

Belle Plaine area residents invited to participate in UI macular degeneration study

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Health Care researchers invite people in the Belle Plaine area to participate in a study on age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The special research day will be Wednesday, Sept. 27 at the Belle Plaine Community Center located at 1309 5th Ave. People may attend either the 9 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. session. Each session will last approximately three hours, and lunch will be provided at 11:45 a.m. for those participating in the study.

Two types of participants are eligible for the study. Participants without age-related macular degeneration must be age 75 or older. These individuals do not need to have perfect vision to participate but they should not have an extensive history of eye problems. Participants with AMD may be any age. The researchers also will welcome families with a large number of people affected by AMD (five to 10 affected family members).

Participants will be asked to answer a brief health questionnaire, have two blood samples drawn and have a picture taken of the back of their eyes. Because participants will have their eyes dilated for the photograph, they should arrange to have a family member or friend provide transportation.

The study is being led by Gregory Hageman, Ph.D., and Edwin M. Stone, M.D., Ph.D., both UI professors of ophthalmology and visual sciences, and aims to identify the genes and other factors responsible for AMD, the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the United States.

For more information or to express your interest in participating in the study, call the UI Center for Macular Degeneration at (319) 384-9270.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.