NEI has published an executive summary from the April 23, 2021, virtual workshop “Immunity and Inflammation in the Anterior Segment of the Eye," hosted by the NEI Anterior Segment Initiative.
Eye inflammation is the fifth leading cause of blindness in the U.S. with estimated costs similar to that of diabetic retinopathy. Host mechanisms that regulate immunity play a critical role in ocular inflammation, even in conditions not typically considered “immune-based,” since immunity regulates not just inflammation but also host tissue response to various stressors. These include diabetic retinopathy, age-related maculopathies, and glaucoma, among others. In 2019, the National Eye Institute (NEI) launched the Anterior Segment Initiative to better understand inflammation and its relationship with ocular pain, dry eye disease, the microbiome, and other eye conditions.
The workshop identified relevant gaps in knowledge, barriers to the development of new therapies, and promising areas for research exploration.