Have You Ever Considered Participating In a Clinical Trial?

Have You Ever Considered Participating In a Clinical Trial?

Posted under Eye Conditions, Eye Health, Living With Low Vision, Low Vision Info, The Eye

Have you ever considered participating in a clinical trial for your macular degeneration or any other eye disease?

Macular degeneration (AMD) studies look at many different aspects of this retinal disease. The purpose may be to improve the visual acuity for those with macular degeneration, or to slow the progression of dry AMD to wet AMD. A study may look at preventing macular degeneration or it may be evaluating a visual rehabilitation therapy. It may be trying to determine what are the best ways to evaluate and detect macular disease by looking a the thickness of the macular pigment or seeing how prevalent depression is in those with low vision.  As you can see there are many different purposes to these studies whether it is prevention, detection, treatment or rehab.

My husband and I are both participating in a study at Jules Stein Institute in California that is trying to identify risk factors for AMD.  We’ve also been asked to participate in another clinical trial that is seeking to identify AMD much earlier with newer techniques than conventional diagnostic methods.   The first study does not require us to travel to California, but the second one means a trip to Bethesda, Maryland.

So how does one find a study that is specific to one’s eye condition?  The two most common ways are:

  1.  Ask Your Eye Doctor

I work at an academic medical center that participates in lots of clinical trials.  Many of our eye doctors are the Principal Investigators for the studies. Simply ask the doctor if their facility is recruiting for any current studies and if you meet the criteria for the study.

  1.  Go On-Line

The main website that has the most complete listing of clinical trials worldwide is www.clinicaltrials.gov.  You can find studies yourself by filling in the search field with your diagnosis and your city or state.  For example, “macular degeneration Florida” or “macular degeneration Chicago”.  By putting in the state or city you can limit the list to those studies that are near your home.

There are two more boxes one needs to check to pull up studies that are seeking or recruiting for new participants.  Check:

Include Only Open Studies (otherwise you will bring up Completed Studies)

Exclude Studies with Unknown Status

Once the list comes up, you will see the word “Recruiting”  in front of the current studies. Read through the information that is listed, such as Eligibility.  Eligibility will list inclusion criteria as well as exclusion criteria.  If you feel that you may meet the eligibility requirements look for the contact name, email address or telephone number and simply call or email them.

For more information visit:

Macular Degeneration Research


Leslie Degner, RN, BSN