Singapore has one of the highest rates of myopia in the world. Short-sightedness affects 28 percent of children as young as seven years old, and the rate increases to 83 percent when they reach 18 years old.
While myopia can be corrected by optical glasses, the functional impact relating to both occupational and lifestyle restrictions should not be underestimated.
Most importantly, studies have shown that persons with higher myopia are at higher risks of developing complications such as degenerative retinal changes, early-onset cataracts (in the thirties to forties) and open-angle glaucoma that can be sight-threatening later in life. Children who start developing myopia at a younger age are more likely to ultimately develop high myopia later in life, and high myopia currently occurs in at least 15 percent of our 18-year-olds in Singapore.
Based on previous ATOM trials and epidemiological studies, the ATOM3 trial continues to investigate the use of low dose Atropine to prevent and control myopia in the younger population. The study is sponsored by National Medical Research Council (NMRC) and Asia Cornea Foundation (ACF).
As a result of previous trials, we now know that Atropine can reduce or slow down myopia progression in children, at least above the age of six years. The ATOM3 study, supported by SCRI, will be performed at the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) and the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC). This new study hopes to determine if Atropine eye drops can prevent or slow the onset of myopia in young children (with myopic parents) who have a high risk of developing myopia, or reduce myopia progression in those with low myopia at a younger age.
SCRI’s project manager provides advice to both the study and internal teams, clinical research associates for site initiation and monitoring, as well as biostatistics and pharmacovigilance support. SCRI’s Research Informatics department developed the Randomisation platform (RAND) for the project by working with the biostatistician. In addition, a data manager will be working closely with the Principal Investigator (PI) and biostatistician to customise the Oracle Clinical as well as provide data analysis and query management.