The Microbiome Project
The microbiome comprises microorganisms that live in or on the human body. There are a growing number of studies that link the microbiome to metabolic disorders through modulation of the inflammation, including inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, schizophrenia and ageing.
With regard to the eye, the study of the microbiome relates principally to dry eye and autoimmune uveitis. Unfortunately, its role in Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in developed countries in the over-50s, or in other eye disorders, has not been widely studied.
The Barcelona Macula Foundation (BMF), in conjunction with the Centre of Genomic Regulation (CRG) and the Institut de la Màcula (IM), will undertake the Microbiome Project in order to study the microbiome. The aim is to shed light on the mechanisms of AMD and to open up new channels for the creation of new therapies.
To do so, we will obtain stool samples from patients who attend the IM and who have a range of eye disorders. This will enable us to determine the association between gut microbiome and eye disease.