3rd May Birdshot social & talk

BUS had a fantastic afternoon on the Phoenician Thames Sailing Barge last Saturday 3rd May, thanks to our hosts John and Janet Hall, and our fantastic speakers, Prof Glen Jeffery from the Institute of Ophthalmology and Chris Hogg a clinical scientist from Moorfields Eye Hospital. Over 30 birdshotters and their friends met socially in the beautiful informal setting.Professor Glen Jeffery described the theory behind the red light therapy which is to be trialled on a small number of Birdshotters at Moorfields Eye Hospital. It is hoped that the therapy will help to reduce inflammation in the eye of someone with Birdshot and in the long run help enable drugs to be reduced and improve quality of life. This special light frequency shows great promise and is also being trialled on people with AMD and has shown promise in models of Parkinsons disease, where they hope to move onto a clinical trial. There has been research going into this for over 10 years and although it might seem an unlikely cure it has created interest in several different walks of life (including the US military).

The handheld scanner was demonstrated by Chris Hogg. It is hoped that this device will quickly be able to give an indication of changes in the eye following the treatment so that the benefits of the red light therapy can be quickly assessed. The device does the equivalent of the ERG 30 hz flicker test which characteristically shows decline in most Birdshot patients. Note the results in the final photograph show a sample result, not those of Professor Glen Jeffery!

Our members found it very informative and we have received many letters of thanks – this sample below echoed the sentiment of many of the letters:

“Thank you so much for inviting us to the social event on Saturday and for all your hard work. It was so nice meeting fellow ‘birdshotters’, making contacts and sharing experiences. Both Glen and Chris provided loads of information and much food for thought giving me plenty of insight to discuss with my consultant.   The event certainly helped ease my sense of isolation.”

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