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J. Sebag, MD, FACS, FRCOphth, FARVO

Senior Research Scientist, Doheny Eye Institute, UCLA

Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, Stein Eye Institute, Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

Founding Director, VMR Institute for Vitreous Macula Retina

President, VMR Consulting, Inc.

7677 Center Avenue, # 400

Huntington Beach, CA 92647             

714-901-7777

www.VMRinstitute.com

VMRR PROJECTS 2024-26

Over the past years, the VMR Research Foundation has been at the forefront of efforts to shed light on vision-degrading myodesopsia (VDM) and elevate its status to a recognized eye disease deserving of effective and safe treatments.

Through extensive research endeavors, the foundation has made significant strides in understanding the underlying causes and mechanisms of eye floaters, paving the way for innovative approaches to treatment. Spearheaded by Dr. Sebag and his dedicated research team, these efforts have yielded promising advancements in the quest for safer and less invasive treatment modalities.

For an in-depth look at the foundation’s future research plans and strategies, you can open and download the PDF file provided here:

Central to the foundation’s mission is the VDM Project, which serves as a vital resource for individuals worldwide affected by eye floaters. By providing up-to-date information on the latest research findings and developments, the VDM Project empowers sufferers to stay informed and engaged in their journey towards better vision health. Through comprehensive outreach efforts, the project strives to foster a global community of support and collaboration among patients, researchers, and healthcare professionals.

Your support is crucial in advancing our mission.

Please consider making a donation today to help fund critical research initiatives, enabling us to accelerate progress towards safer and more effective treatments for VDM:

Together, we can make a difference in the fight against vision-degrading myodesopsia.

EYE FLOATERS RESEARCH: UPDATE APRIL 2023

Dear Sufferers,

Recently Dr. Sebag released a brief interview with some important updates for the VDM PROJECT.

The VMR RESEARCH FOUNDATION, along with prominent partners and doctors, is working to make progress and get closer to a better solution to diagnose and treat eye floaters.

In this interview, Dr. Sebag answered some of the most relevant questions from the community and shared some significant considerations on the recognition of VDM as a significant disease by medical practitioners vs. being considered simply a nuisance.

In the upcoming months, we plan to involve doctors and experts from the Scientific Advisory Board to begin discussing different points of view and possible solutions to cope, treat and cure eye floaters.

 We have uploaded the video of Dr. Sebag’s interview to the VDM PROJECT YouTube account.

 You can access it here: CLICK HERE

 Let’s unite for clear vision!
 VDM PROJECT TEAM

 P.S.
 The VMR Research Foundation is grateful for your continued support.

Your contribution matters and represents a positive step forward toward a better and safe treatment for eye floaters.

VMR RESEARCH FOUNDATION | ACHIEVEMENTS 2022

Alfredo A. Sadun, MD, PhD, Vice-Chair Ophthalmology, Doheny Eye Institute/UCLA
Jean-Louis Selam, MD, President, University Clinical Investigators, Irvine, CA
Howard Slavin, Esq.
Gregory C. Beck, CPA
J. Sebag, MD, FACS, FRCOphth, FARVO – Chair


ACHIEVEMENTS 2022

I.       EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Since inception, the VMR Research Foundation (VMRR) has built upon vitreous R&D begun by Dr. Sebag in 1978 at the College of Physicians & Surgeon, Columbia University and continued at Harvard Medical School from 1980 to 1986. This work has since produced over 250 academic publications in peer-reviewed publications top journals, as well as chapters, books, editorials, reviews, and letters. Dr. Sebag has delivered 253 lectures and presentations throughout the world. In addition to defining the roles of vitreous in ocular health and vitreo-retinal diseases, VMRR has focused on the problem of Vision Degrading Myodesopsia (clinically significant vitreous floaters). To address the unmet need for better understanding and new treatments, VMRR is undertaking several ambitious projects.

II. SUMMARY OF WORK PRODUCT/ACHIEVEMENTS

A. VDM Project (www.VDMresearch.org)

Educating the public and raising awareness (as well as funds) have been prime objectives of the VDM Project. A scientific advisory board was assembled consisting of Professor Taiji Sakamoto (Japan), Professor Alfredo Sadun (Los Angeles), Professor Paulo Stanga (London), Professor Susanne Binder (Vienna), and Dr. Felix Sauvage (Belgium). Quarterly meetings have been held with the leadership of the VDM Project. Public awareness and education are cornerstones of this endeavor.

B. Publications

1. PEER-REVIEWED ORIGINAL REPORTS

Sauvage F, Nguyen VP, Li Y, Harizaj A, Sebag J, Roles D, Van Havere VV, Peynshaert K, Fraire JC, Tassignon M-J, Remaut K, Paulus YM, Braeckman K, Stefaan C. De Smedt SC: Laser-induced nanobubbles safely ablate vitreous opacities in vivo. Nature Nanotechnology 2022 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-022-01086-4

Nguyen JH, Yee KMP, Nguyen-Cuu J, Mamou J, Sebag J: Vitrectomy improves contrast sensitivity in multifocal pseudophakia with vision degrading myodesopsia. Am J Ophthalmol 244:196-204, 2022 doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2022.05.003.   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2022.05.003

2. CHAPTERS

Huang S, Friedman J, Sebag J: Vitreous. In: ASRS Retina Atlas and Image Bank, 2020              updated 2022. American Society of Retinal Specialists https://atlas.asrs.org/article/vitreous-122

Sebag J: Vitreous & Vitreo-Retinal Interface. In: Ryan’s Retina 7th ed (Sadda, ed.) Elsevier, 2022

Chew L, Sebag J: Vitreous. In: Adler’s Physiology of the Eye. 12th Ed, 2022. Elsevier, Philadelphia (in press)

3. LETTERS, EDITORIALS, CASE REPORTS, REVIEWS, MISCELLANEOUS

Gui W, Sebag J: Correspondence. Retina. 2022 Jan 1;42(1):e5-e7. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0000000000003334

Sebag J: Coronal plane OCT imaging and vision in macular pucker. Graefe’s Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 260:2379-80, 2022   

https://doi.org/10.1007/s00417-021-05439-y

Gui W, Silverman RH, Sebag J: Etiology and diagnosis of vision degrading myodesopsia.Retinal Physician 19:30-33, 2022 https://www.relinalphysician.com/issues/2022/june-2022/etiology-and-diagnosis-of-vision-degrading-myodeso

Sebag J: Letter to the Editor. Ophthalmology Retina 6(7):644-5, 2022

Gui W, Sebag J: Surgical management of vision degrading myodesopsia. Retinal Phys 19:E1-E4, 2022

AAO SCOPE Interview: The Way We Were. August, 2022
https://www.aao.org/senior-ophthalmologists/scope/article/way-we-were-j-sebag-md

Gui W, Silverman RH, Sebag J: Non-surgical management of vision degrading myodesopsia. Retinal Physician Volume 19, Issue: Special Edition 2022, page(s): E1-E5 

Wieghofer P, Engelbert M, Chui TC, Rosen RB, Sakamoto T, Sebag J: Hyalocyte origin, structure, & imaging.
Exp Rev Ophthalmol 2022
https://doi.org/10.1080/17469899.2022.2100762

Boneva S, Wolf J, Wieghofer P, Sebag J, Lange C: Hyalocyte function & immunology.
Exp Rev Ophthalmol 2022
https://doi.org/10.1080/17469899.2022.2100762

Jones C, Gui W, Schumann RG, Boneva S, Lange C, van Overdam K, Chui TC, Rosen RB, Sebag J: Hyalocytes in proliferative vitreo-retinal diseases.
Exp Rev Ophthalmol 2022
https://doi.org/10.1080/17469899.2022.2100764

C. Lectures and Presentations 2022

Sebag J: Vitreous & Vision Degrading Myodesopsia

8th Annual Meeting, Pacific Retina Club, UCLA, April 2, 2022 (by invitation)

Sebag J: Vitrectomy improves contrast sensitivity function in multifocal pseudophakia.

American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, Washington DC, April 25, 2022

Sebag J: Vitrectomy improves contrast sensitivity in multifocal pseudophakia with vision degrading myodesopsia. American Ophthalmological Society, Colorado Springs, May 21, 2022

Sebag J: Keynote Lecture:  See the Invisible – The Quest of Imaging Vitreous.           Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland. September 30, 2022 (by invitation)

Sebag J: Vitrectomy for Vision Degrading Myodesopsia, American Academy of Ophthalmology,

Chicago, October 3, 2022 (by invitation)

Sebag J: Limited Vitrectomy Improves Visual Function in Multi-Focal Pseudophakia with Vision Degrading Myodesopsia. The Retina Society, Pasadena, California November 5, 2022 https://www.vmrinstitute.com/limited-vitrectomy-improves-visual-function-in-multi-focal-pseudophakia-with-vision-degrading-myodesopsia/

Sebag J: Vitrectomy Cures Vision Degrading Myodesopsia. International Ocular Floaters Society. December 2, 2022 (by invitation)

D. Awards & Honors

2022   Physician of Excellence, Orange County Medical Association

2022   Super Doctor of Southern California, Los Angeles Magazine

2022   International Retina Hall of Fame

2022   Best Paper Presentation, Annual Meeting of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, Washington D.C.

Promoting research today for a better tomorrow

Recent Publication on VDM (Part 1 of 3): Etiology and Diagnosis of Vision Degrading Myodesopsia


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Attached please find part 1 of a 3-part series on VDM. As you can see, this work was supported in part by the VMR Research Foundation, which is supported in part by the VDM Project.

Thank you ALL for your interest and donations of time, talent, and money to this effort. You are appreciated.

– Dr J. Sebag

We’ll continue to make progress researching a cure, but we can only do this with your support. Your help allows us to continue the fight for clear vision.

Your VDM Team

VDM Project Expense Report

Dear supporters,

Thanks to your generous contributions to our efforts, the VDM Project is proud to announce a list of projects completed by the VMR Research Foundation in large part due to our funding.

Click the link below to access the full report in PDF format.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Yqw182v7Qx9364dGfucbwH_xeh73if38/view

We’ll continue to make progress researching a cure, but we can only do this with your support. Your help allows us to continue the fight for clear vision.

Your VDM Team

Eye Floaters Research: UPDATE JUNE 2022

Dear supporters,

To offer full transparency, our webinar with Dr. Sebag (dated June 5th 2022) has been recorded and is available to view.

We’ll continue to make progress researching a cure, but we can only do this with your support. Your help allows us to continue the fight for clear vision.

Your VDM Team

Eye Floaters Prevalence Study

Eye Floater Prevalence Study
 

The VDM Project is currently in the process of commissioning a study on the prevalence of vitreous floaters among adults in the United States.

 
Although the survey instrument will not be administered in a clinical setting and will therefore not allow for patients to undergo the objective testing that could be used to establish a formal diagnosis of vision-degrading myodesopsia, its purpose is nevertheless to ascertain just how many individuals are afflicted by floaters and how many report that their floaters are serious enough to affect their daily activities and quality of life. 
 

Existing research on this question suffers from clear problems of selection bias [1], and so the VDM Project will be working with a company experienced in collecting data for social scientific studies to ensure a representative sample that allows for valid statistical inference.

Although ophthalmologists (and retina specialists in particular) anecdotally report that floaters are very common, especially among older adults, these reports somewhat paradoxically seem to coexist with a widespread perception among clinicians that disability resulting from floaters is very rare, if it even occurs at all [2].

 

Some authors have even expressed surprise that studies of vitrectomy for the treatment of floaters have been able to find enough patients whose condition was serious enough to warrant surgical intervention [3].

This new prevalence study will finally provide vital data that has long been lacking on the societal impact of vitreous floaters.

 
Even for many other conditions that are comparatively understudied, such as tinnitus [4], fibromyalgia [5], or myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) [6], there at least exist credible estimates of population prevalence. 
 
These estimates will be critically important in helping us to convince government and industry to devote desperately needed funding to develop better and safer cures.
 
 
Please support the VDM PROJECT to help us find a safer and better cure for Eye Floaters
 

>>> SUPPORT THE PROJECT HERE <<<

 
Let’s Unite For clear Vision
VDM MASTERMIND TEAM
 
 
 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3693028/
[2] https://www.escrs.org/publications/EUROTIMES/11July-August/vitrectomyforfloaters.pdf (“Arguing against [the use of vitrectomy for treating floaters] was Stanley Chang MD, Edward Harkness Professor of Ophthalmology, Columbia University in New York… ‘I do believe there is disability associated with floaters, but it is relatively rare.'”)
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3996761/ (“The authors of these studies cite impairment in activities of daily living (Mason et al and Sebag et al), contrast sensitivity (Sebag et al) or well-being (Sebag et al) as the primary inclusion criteria for surgical intervention. It is somewhat surprising, however, that hundreds of patients presenting to these centers, over a short time period, would be impaired to the extent that PPV is required”)
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5812683/
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4575027/
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6331450/

Dr. Sebag Live Webinar & Q&A (Jan 2021)

Dear supporters,

To offer full transparency, our webinar with Dr. Sebag (dated January 17th 2021) has been recorded and is available to view.

In this webinar, Dr. Sebag explains the latest research efforts, the exciting news of his latest publication, our Q&A session and more. We want all of our supporters to see what is happening behind the scenes and the objectives we are working toward in our mission to cure eye floaters.

We’ll continue to make progress researching a cure, but we can only do this with your support. Your help allows us to continue the fight for clear vision.

Your VDM Team

Research Update: January 2021

Dear VDM Project supporters,

As 2021 begins, we are continuing our fight to find a safe and effective cure for Vision Degrading Myodesopsia (Eye Floaters). As our team grows, we are uniting more sufferers and becoming a stronger force for change.

We have three exciting updates to share with you:

1) Dr. Sebag Publication:
“Vitreous and Vision Degrading Myodesopsia”

Importantly, Dr. Sebag continues to work tirelessly to have Vision Degrading Myodesopsia (eye floaters) recognized as a disease within the medical community – this is no easy task. By having this classified as a widespread problem for many people around the world, it will open the door to greater funding and research opportunities toward a cure.

Over the last two years, Dr. Sebag has authored a major article named ‘Vitreous and Vision Degrading Myodesopsia’, now published in the most prestigious journal within the eye world.

Why is this important? Because this major article shows that we are changing attitudes – Vision Degrading Myodesopsia is being classified as a disease that can impact the lives of sufferers dramatically. This article is the first of its kind and is helping the voice of eye floater sufferers become heard.

As we continue to raise more awareness and change opinions of the medical world, this will lead to more funding opportunities to expand on clinical research.

Please join us in thanking Dr. Sebag for dedicating two years to this work and congratulating him on this enormous achievement. This shows the great progress he is making within the medical world and takes us a large step closer to a floater-free future for all.

2) Dr. Sebag: Research Updates

Although we are crowdfunding to support this initial research, our key aim is to receive governmental and/or institutional funding which will allow this clinical research to take place – meaning a safer cure can be found sooner.

The below summary from Dr. Sebag outlines the projects he has been working on, and the funding he has applied for. If successful, this funding will be a key step in our fight for a cure:

Better Understanding

To better understand how vitreous causes Vision Degrading Myodesopsia (VDM), specimens removed during vitrectomy surgery for advanced cases are being studied at the Huntington Memorial Research Institute in Pasadena, California and the University of Ghent School of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Belgium.

Clinical studies on vitreous following posterior vitreous detachment (the most common cause of floaters) will be completed and published.

Clinical studies on the role of crystalline lens status on VDM will be completed and submitted for publication. This will help us understand that in certain patients vitreous induces additive effects to degrade contrast sensitivity function and that these deleterious effects can be eliminated with limited vitrectomy, improving vision and quality-of-life.

Clinical studies on the impact of myopic vitreopathy on VDM have been completed and will be published in 2021.

Better Diagnostics

A grant proposal has been submitted to the European Union to develop better imaging of vitreous with the aim to enhance diagnostic evaluation of floater sufferers.

A second grant proposal was submitted to the Polish Ministry of Health to develop better optical imaging of the human vitreous body.

A third grant proposal was submitted to an ophthalmic technology company to improve acoustic imaging (ultrasonography) of the human vitreous body.

A self-administered questionnaire will be finalized to screen large populations as well as evaluate a single individual so as to assess the impact of floaters on vision (subjectively) and quality-of-life.

Testing paradigms of the speed and accuracy of reading will be developed and implemented to better evaluate the impact of vitreous on vision and visual function in daily living.

Better Therapeutics

A grant proposal was submitted to a laser technology company to evaluate and improve YAG laser vitreolysis.

Novel nanotechnology-based treatments are currently being tested for safety in animals and will be developed for human trials.

A project will be launched to evaluate and refine the use of pharmacologic pupil dilation to lessen the severity of the disturbing visual phenomenon of floaters.

3) Fundraising: $20,000 milestone

We are incredibly grateful to all supporters for their trust and belief in this movement. Thank you to the 134 contributors who have donated to clinical research – every amount directly supporters research toward a safer cure for eye floaters.

We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to The Weatherstone Family Foundation, Inc. for their generous support of $15,000 between December 2020 and January 2021. We cannot thank you enough and your contributions will always be remembered.

As we continue grow, now more than ever we need dedicated, committed and ambitious people to help us – as we can only achieve so much alone. If you would like to apply to the VDM Project to fight for a cure with us, you can do so here.

Thank you for your continued belief, and we are more positive about the future than we ever have been,
Your VDM Team