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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2007
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

NAEVR AND ALLIANCE FOR AGING RESEARCH TO RELEASE FIRST-EVER THE SILVER BOOK: VISION LOSS IN CAPITOL HILL EVENT DURING WORLDWIDE AMD AWARENESS WEEK 2007

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) announced that, in partnership with the Alliance for Aging Research, it would release the first-ever volume of the Alliance’s The Silver Book: Chronic Disease and Medical Innovation in An Aging Nation dedicated to aging eye disease—The Silver Book: Vision Loss. The release event will be held on Tuesday, September 25, from 12 Noon – 1:15 pm in the Russell Senate Office Building Room 385, with responses to Ms. Dina Beaumont at 202-530-4672 or dina_beaumont@yr.com. It occurs during Worldwide Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Week 2007 with the theme of The Face of AMD, and is being held in conjunction with the Congressional Vision Caucus, Prevent Blindness America, and AMD Alliance International.

Featured speakers include: National Eye Institute (NEI)-funded researcher Michael Gorin, M.D., Ph.D. (Jules Stein Eye Institute/UCLA), who will discuss current research into aging eye disease; economist David Rein, Ph.D. (RTI International), who will address the economic burden of eye disease; and patient Hyman Shapiro, J.D., who will describe living with AMD. NAEVR’s Executive Director James Jorkasky will join Alliance for Aging Research’s Executive Director Dan Perry in moderating the event.

The Alliance for Aging Research launched the first volume of The Silver Book: Chronic Disease and Medical Innovation in an Aging Nation in 2006 and it has quickly become a trusted resource for health policy practitioners. The dedicated Vision Loss volume summarizes published data on the incidence and costs associated with AMD, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma—which along with cataract are the eye diseases that disproportionately affect older Americans. The data, which are cited with the original sources, will also be available on-line at www.silverbook.org, where they can be easily searched and will be updated as new information is published.

More than 38 million Americans age 40 and older are blind, visually impaired, or have an age-related eye disease. The economic impact of adult vision loss is astonishing, with the United States costs exceeding $51 billion—a huge share of the $68 billion annual cost of all vision impairment and eye disease. These current cost estimates may not fully account for the burden of vision loss, which includes direct healthcare costs, lost productivity, reduced independence, diminished quality of life, increased depression, and accelerated mortality.

About the Speakers:

Dr. Michael Gorin is the Harold and Pauline Price Chair in Ophthalmology and Professor of Ophthalmology in the Retina and Vision Science Divisions in the UCLA Department of Ophthalmology/Jules Stein Eye Institute. His primary research focus is the molecular genetics of hereditary eye disorders, particularly AMD, retinitis pigmentosa, and Stargardt disease. His research team was the first to identify genetic regions that contribute to AMD, which then led to the identification of several macular degeneration genes by multiple scientists.

Dr. David Rein is a research economist in RTI’s Public Health Economics Program. His work focuses on outcomes research, cost-effectiveness simulations, applied econometrics, and program evaluation. In 2006, he published the first updated estimates of the economic burden of adult visual disorders since 1982.

About the Event Hosts:

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a nonprofit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 professional, consumer, and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. NAEVR’s goal is to achieve the best vision for all Americans through advocacy and public education for eye and vision research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Eye Institute (NEI), and other federal research entities. Visit NAEVR’s Web site at www.eyeresearch.org.

Founded in 1986, the Alliance for Aging Research is a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the health and independence of aging Americans through the public and private funding of medical research and geriatric education. The Alliance combines the interest of top scientists, public officials, business executives, and foundation leaders to promote a greater national investment in research and new technologies that will prepare our nation for the coming senior boom, and improve the quality of life for today’s older generation. Visit the Alliance’s Web site at www.agingresearch.org.