Projects

Among individuals with low vision, 15-20% have severe peripheral vision loss. However, most research and interventions in low vision have focused on those with central vision loss. There remains a critical need for valid and reliable person-centered measurement tools to assess vision-related quality of life in this population in order to conduct patient-centered outcomes research; to assess the comparative effectiveness of interventions; and to promote overall wellbeing and quality of life for this large and growing population. This mixed-methods measurement development project will develop and validate the LV-SCOPE survey using inductive qualitative interviewing and item-response theory.

Co-Investigator
(MPIs Vicki Freedman, Judith Kasper; NIH/NIA: U01AG032947)

NHATS is a nationally-representative panel study of U.S. Medicare beneficiaries age 65 and older. It has been ongoing since 2011 and is focused on late-life disability trends and trajectories. As an NHATS Co-Investigator, our team is implementing a battery of objective in-home vision measures (distance and near acuity, contrast sensitivity) administered on a tablet. Using data from NHATS we conduct investigations on the impact of vision on health, disability, and wellbeing in older adults.

LASI-DAD is a nationally-representative panel study of adults age 60 years and older in India. It is a member of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocol (HCAP) family of studies, focused on identifying risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia. As a LASI-DAD Co-Investigator, our team is implementing collection of ocular biomarker data in order to study the impact of vision impairment and retinal imaging-based oculomics on cognitive aging and the development of dementia in India.

Co-Founder
(MiCDA/NIH: P30AG012846)

The SENSE Network is an international network supporting research examining the role of sensory functioning - vision, hearing, olfaction, touch, and taste - on health and aging. This network aims to build infrastructure that supports the crosscutting, interinstitutional, and innovative research that is needed to catalyze sensory aging research efforts and achieve advances in this field at a faster pace. This network will accelerate sensory aging research via new collaborations, the creation of novel resources (including a sensory meta-databank), and the generation of transformative scientific findings.

Secondary Data Analyses

Principal Investigator

Our team regularly conducts analyses using population-based secondary data sources (e.g., NHIS, BRFSS, HRS, NHATS, etc.) in order to study the epidemiology of vision impairment and blindness; the impact of vision and multisensory impairments on health, disability, and well-being; and health services utilization and delivery. Our team shares resources for data analysis and statistical code on our page at the Open Science Framework. We have received pilot funding from the NIA-funded Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging (MiCDA, P30AG012846) and the Center to Accelerate Population Research in Alzheimer's (CAPRA, P30AG06658201) for this work.

ENGINE: Eyecare Nurtures Good-health, Innovation, driviNg-safety and Education

Co-Investigator
(PI: Nathan Co
ngdon, Rohit Khanna; Welcome Trust: 222490/Z/21/Z)

ENGINE is designed to leverage high-quality research from four component studies to drive lasting policy change and achieve improved quality of life for people in low and middle-income countries. It examines how an affordable, effective, and widely-available treatment, glasses, can help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our group is working on the randomized controlled trial, CLEVER (Cognitive Level Enhancement through Vision Exams and Refraction), to assess the effect of glasses provision on the rate of cognitive decline in older adults in South India.

The Vision Loss Expert Group is a technical advisory group to the World Health Organization and the Global Burden of Disease Project. The Lancet Global Health Commission is an international group of experts that seeks to synthesize evidence and provide recommendations to governments, communities, and other stakeholders in order to combat avoidable blindness and vision impairment globally beyond the year 2020. More information is available here.