Vision & AIM
Promoting international, intersectoral and multi/inter-disciplinary collaboration in research and training in Europe
The DED disease
Approximately 30% of patients seeking ophthalmological treatment in the developed countries have symptoms consistent with DED. Epidemiological reviews estimate prevalence of DED at 5-35 % (variation attributed to diagnostic methods, geography, age, and sex). DED affects patients of all ages and both sexes, although the prevalence increases with age. With ageing population in developed countries, the numbers of subjects with DED is expected to increase substantially.
Dry eye disease (DED) is a multifactorial disease of the ocular surface that results in symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance, tear alterations, and tear film instability with damage to the ocular surface. It is accompanied by increased osmolarity of the tears and inflammation of the ocular surface. Mild to severe forms of the disease have been recorded. Effective treatments for this disorder are not available due to the difficulty of definitive diagnosis which is hindered by the multifactorial and elusive etiology of DED.
The impact of EDEN
The scientific aims of EDEN include the development of modelling and simulation tools to improve DED diagnosis and therapeutic alternative. The consortium partners will draw from their knowledge of anatomy, optometry, medicine, and technology to objectively characterise the changes taking place in the lacrimal functional unit and leading to DED. The outcome will be the development of tools for the accurate, rapid and objective diagnosis of DED. The results will have an impact on treatment of patients from all European countries and will not be specific to any particular region.
In addition to obvious clinical impacts EDEN will offer to 10 young researchers participating the network a unique opportunity to be trained in the multidisciplinary, international and mutlisectoral environment. Researchers will be trained in state-of-the-art approaches and techniques essential to studying dry eye disease through research, training courses and scientific exchange within and beyond the network. This experience will boast their future career opportunities in academia and industry.
Each researcher will have the opportunity to obtain a joint PhD from two academic institutions located in different EU countries.
The researchers trained within EDEN will address the need for highly trained scientists with multidisciplinary expertise not only in the optometric research, but also in ophthalmology, pharmacology and the branches of physics related to vision.