Current Research – last updated July 23, 2012

SPARCS – Validation and Reproducibility of Spaeth/Richman Contrast Sensitivity Test. Contrast Sensitivity is another way of testing vision with black letters on a white background. A new computer generated test was designed to measure contrast sensitivity in four quadrants of the visual field and straight ahead using black and white stripes instead of letters. Glaucoma patients and healthy individuals with no eye disorders are needed for this one-day study. There are no treatments or risks to participate. In the future we will be recruiting patients with macular degeneration, cataracts and refractive errors to complete this study.

Brain Imaging – For patients who participated in our previous functionality studies where they were matching socks and navigating an obstacle course, we have the Brain Imaging study. The purpose of this study is to determine if glaucoma is associated with changes in areas of the brain other than the areas where vision is processed. We also need age, race and gender matched, healthy individuals with no eye disorders for our controls. Each participant will have a neurological evaluation and MRI. There are no treatments or risks for participation.

Ologen – This study is for patients needing first time glaucoma surgery (Trabeculectomy). During glaucoma filtering surgery, patients typically receive a medicine known as an antimetabolite to try to prevent the body from forming scar tissue at the surgical site. Patients will be randomized to receive Mitomycin C, the standard antimetabolite, or Ologen, a new artificial extracellular matrix during surgery. This is a one-year postoperative follow-up with nine visits.

Baerveldt – This study is comparing two different sized Baerveldt tube shunts in patients who are scheduled for tube shunt surgery. The goal of the study is to determine if one size is superior to the other in successfully lowering eye pressure. Patients will be randomized to one size or the other. There are 11 postoperative visits during a five-year period.

RIGOR – This observational study will compare the effectiveness of different treatment strategies (eye drops, laser and surgery) for open-angle glaucoma. Patients who have failed initial medical therapy with two bottles of glaucoma eye drops will qualify. The study will not provide or recommend any treatment. All direction for treatment is solely at the discretion of the physician in accordance with their usual practice. Data will be collected and a quality of life questionnaire will be administered to patients four times over a one year period.

Reversibility – This study compares the structural nerve fiber layer changes in the macula and optic nerve head with Spectralis OCT (a noninvasive measurement) and functional changes using automated perimetry (visual field test) after medical or surgical interventions. Patients who have intraocular pressures greater than 35 mm Hg will qualify. Ten glaucoma patients who had stable and controlled eye pressure over one year will be recruited as the control group. There will be four visits over a nine month period.

Quality of Life – (observational study): The purpose of this study is to look at the long-term effect glaucoma has on quality of life so that we may gain valuable information about what factors influence the quality of life of people with glaucoma. To participate in this study, you will need to allow us to perform clinical tests on your eyes, to self-report your well-being and health-related quality of life, and to let us know how well you perform your daily life activities.

Sahara Study – (observational study): The purpose of this study is to find out about the development of any damage to the surface of eyes (ocular surface disease) by comparing patients who receive preservative-containing eye drops with those who do not.

SENSITIVITY & SPECIFICITY – The purpose of this study is to evaluate how accurate the NOVA-VEP is in detecting glaucoma. 3 groups: 1) normals (IOP less than 22); 2) suspects; 3) glaucoma (IOP of 23 or greater).

AQUESYS IMPLANT – The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and performance of the AqueSys implant in patients with refractory glaucoma.

If you or someone you know may be interested in participating or learning more about one of our studies, feel free to contact us. You will need an ophthalmic exam to determine eligibility. This may or may not be covered by your medical insurance.

Glaucoma Research Center:

MaryJo Schwartz,
Administrator 215-928-3123;

Jeanne Molineaux,
Coordinator 215-825-4713;

Sheryl S. Wizov,
Coordinator 215-928-3221