Readers are invited to support Assoc/Professor Anthony Kwan as he runs the ‘Bridge to Brisbane’, on 29 August to raise funds that will support the “amazing” sight-saving work undertaken at Queensland Eye Institute Foundation (QEIF).
QEIF is Queensland’s largest independent academic research institute devoted to eye-related health and diseases. The Institute aims to reduce eye disease, improve eye health, and ultimately eliminate preventable blindness in the community by providing innovation and excellence in research, education and clinical care. With no government funding, the institute relies solely on the generosity of donors, businesses and the community.
You can support Assoc/Prof Kwan’s effort to raise funds for the ERG machine by making a secure online donation here
Assoc/Prof Kwan, a macula and retina specialist, and vitreoretinal surgeon who conducts clinical trials at QEIF, said the cause is close to his heart because of the research QEIF does to find treatments, and potential cures, for people like one-year-old Max George. Little Max has Leber’s congenital amaurosis (LCA), a rare genetic mutation which affects the retina and is present from birth.
Funding an Electrodiagnostic Machine
The money that Assoc/Prof Kwan raises from participating in the Bridge to Brisbane run will support retinal research at QEIF and contribute to the purchase of a much needed electrodiagnostic machine (ERG) for the Queensland Electro-Diagnostic and Imaging Centre (QEDIC) which sits within the Institute. The ERG, which costs over AU$150,000, will be used to serve public patients and for the Institute’s research efforts.
Professor Mark Radford , Executive Director and CEO of Queensland Eye Institute said visual electrophysiological tests are particularly useful for infants like Max, and young children, who are often unable to articulate their vision problems.
He said visual electrophysiological tests are important because they:
- Assess how the visual system processes visual information;
- Provide additional information to the optometrist or ophthalmologist when they perform clinical tests;
- Help to diagnose the cause of a visual problem;
- Are useful in diagnosing a number of different inherited eye diseases, especially retinal eye and optic nerve diseases;
- Can be used to monitor the progression of a visual disorder; and
- Can monitor the effects of treatment.
Currently there is only one ERG machine in the whole of Brisbane that can diagnose babies, children and adults. Although QEIF is fortunate to have that machine on site, it is limited in its capacity by time. Each test takes between three to 3.5 hours, which means only two tests can be completed in one day. Across an entire year, just 384 patients can be tested and diagnosed.
Support and Contribute to the Effort
“For me, this is an important cause,” Assoc/Prof Kwan told mivision. “With the advent of gene therapy it is imperative to have an accurate and fast diagnosis of inherited eye disease so that we can give good management advice to the patients and see if they can participate in any potential clinical trials.”
You can support Assoc/Prof Kwan’s effort to raise funds for the ERG machine by making a secure online donation here.
“After donating you can even leave a message of support on my page – it would be great to read these,” Assoc/Prof Kwan said. “Together, with a little contribution, we can make a big impact on race day and on the future of clinical care and research in eye care in Queensland.”
Professor Mark Radford said, “Raising funds in the current environment is difficult, however we have been overwhelmed with the support we have received so far. The efforts of Associate Professor Anthony Kwan and his team are making a significant impact on helping us reach our goal of $150,000. We are grateful to everyone who has supported this cause.”