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War Amps funds research facility for macular degeneration treatment


Ottawa, ON – The War Amputations of Canada says it will contribute $100,000 to assist in establishing a special research facility to develop a system to detect and provide early treatment for elderly patients who begin to suffer from macular degeneration.

“The War Amps has been able to raise sufficient funds through private donations to commence a study,” says Cliff Chadderton, War Amps’ CEO. ‘This will include the purchase of new state-of-the-art equipment and a system known as RHEO.’

Age related macular degeneration or AMD is a degenerative eye disease affecting the central retina or macula and is the leading cause of permanent central vision loss in people over 50 in North America. Affecting more than 800,000 Canadians, it is one of the major causes of disability among older veterans and their spouses.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with ophthalmologists across Canada in spearheading the treatment system for this much-needed research project,” says Chadderton.

The treatment involves a painless procedure, rheopheresis or “RHEO, which is a form of blood filtration that removes large proteins and fats from the blood to increase blood flow to the eye. It consists of a 2-3 hour filtration session, with eight treatments over four months. It has been safely used for over a decade in Europe, and either stabilized or improved vision in 96% of patients in the US FDA interim trial results.