November 2017 meeting Banking on Retinopathy Research – Researcher – Marcus Fruttiger and Christmas Raffle

The November meeting was very well attended.  One of our Chair’s, Mike Higgins, read out the notices, wished the audience a Happy Christmas, and introduced Dr Marcus Fruttiger to the members. 

Dr Fruttiger explained that he grew up in Switzerland and moved to the UK in the 1990’s.  He currently works at University College London within the Institute of Ophthalmology in East London.  The building he works in is situated near to Moorfields Eye Hospital.

There are between 1 and 5 million people in the world, who have Diabetes.  10% of that population has retinopathy.

Retinopathy is a condition of when the blood vessels within the eye become damaged. High sugar levels and a high level of body fats are responsible for causing the damage.  It is therefore paramount that each individual with diabetes maintains a tight control of their sugar levels and the level of fatty food that they eat.  There are many types of retinopathy.  Dr Fruttiger explained in detail the different types of retinopathy and the problems associated with each type. 

Dr Fruttiger’s project is to set up a bank of eyes from people, who have diabetes.  There are a number of things that limit the availability of eyes: -

  • Eyes can only be taken from those people, who have given an express wish on death, to leave their body parts to research. 
  • The person has to have diabetes.
  • The family of the deceased person may not want their loved ones eyes to be used.
  • The eyes have to be studied on within 3 days of death.

It is hoped the eye bank will provide a more in depth of how retinopathy develops and progresses.

The second half of the meeting saw the Big Ted draw, the 100 Club draw and the Christmas raffle. 

Everyone enjoyed coffee, tea and festive food during the drawing of the raffles.