In April 2014, IN-vision opened a new Eye-Movement Clinic in the Royal Eye Infirmary Hospital, Plymouth. The state of the art clinic is equipped with an Eyelink 1000Plus, funded entirely by donations to IN-vision.
The impact of providing this equipment has the potential to be enormous. Not only will it enhance clinical assessment and management of specific eye movement problems, but also provides essential data for research. We at IN-vision researched where we would get the best value for our donors and are absolutely convinced we have achieved that goal.
IN-vision is committed to supporting research as a priority. We work very hard to make sure that as much money as possible goes towards this aim. We have no overheads. All work is carried out by our Trustees who work voluntarily, we have no office space and as much work as possible is done electronically.
There are some unavoidable costs, such as domain hosting, and credit card processing, but the site we use for processing online donations, does not have a monthly fee or admin fee, like most others.
Our current research goal is to embark on a developmental research program into infantile nystagmus at the earliest stages of development.
To help understand nystagmus, we need to be able to measure precisely the way the eyes oscillate (the waveform). This requires highly specialised and expensive equipment (eye-trackers) that can record how the eyes move over time. Because the eyes oscillate rapidly, it is important to use an eye tracker that is both accurate and fast. Although eye movements in adults have been investigated for decades, recording from young infants with infantile nystagmus is much more difficult, and only a few studies have ever succeeded. However, in recent years, newly available video eye-trackers have, for the first time, made it possible to record from even very young infants non-invasively and routinely.
The first key phase of IN-vision’s developmental research program was to procure an eye-tracker capable of recording nystagmus successfully in infants. Now that is in place, we aim to develop standard protocols for recording nystagmus from infants, so that we can find out how the waveform changes as the infant grows. Once this procedure has been developed, it is our aim to procure several eye-trackers and site them in centres specialising in nystagmus research throughout the UK. This way we can gather enough data that has been collected using exactly the same procedures. We are already fundraising for our second eye-tracker to be sited in Cardiff.
Only once we have enough data can we embark on the next crucial phase to explore how we might be able to modify the nystagmus as it develops.
Each eye-tracker costs around £28,000. It might sound like a lot of money, but in the world of medical and scientific research it is relatively small. We really can make a difference by funding these, and it is possible, so please help by making a donation today, taking part in a challenge or sportif, or organising your own fundraising event.
With heartfelt thanks from IN-vision.