It is also the world's oldest and largest keratoconus-focused organization, with a database of more than 30,000 patients and care providers. Its purpose is to raise awareness and knowledge of this genetic disorder.
Avellino's donation will directly support these educational and scientific activities, as well as scientific research into the cause and treatment of this serious corneal illness.
“On behalf of the NKCF, we want to express our great thanks and appreciation to Avellino for its generous donation,” NKCF Director Mary Prudden.
“The more we can raise awareness of this disease that can lead to significant vision loss, the more we can change the disease trajectory, including with earlier detection. This can mean all the difference in preserving sight over a patient’s lifetime.”
To develop an actionable keratoconus genetic risk score, the test examines 75 keratoconus-related genes and more than 2,000 variations of those genes.
The test helps identify patients at risk of developing keratoconus earlier than traditional diagnostic methods.
When keratoconus begins to progress, their eye care expert may advise them to undergo FDA-approved cross-linking, which can slow the disease's progression and maintain eyesight.
AvaGen results can potentially affect an optometrist's decision of refractive surgery alternatives for individuals with keratoconus or other topographical warning indications, particularly in younger patients.
“Avellino is committed to raising awareness of keratoconus and empowering eye care professionals to help diagnose this disease earlier by being able to accurately determine the genetic risk of this sight-threatening condition,” said Avellino CEO Jim Mazzo.
World Keratoconus Day Livestream Event
Alongside its donation, Avellino is also conducting an educational live stream on World Keratoconus Day, including numerous famous ophthalmologists and optometrists.
The panel will discuss keratoconus prevalence, disease diagnostics, and which patient types can benefit from genetic testing.
The event will take place on Wednesday, November 10 at 7:00 p.m. EST and will feature:
Mile Brujic, OD, FAAO, Owner of Premier Vision Group
Barry Eiden (moderator), OD, FAAO, FSLS, President and Medical Director North Suburban Vision Consultants, Ltd., and CEO of the International Keratoconus Academy of Eye Care Professionals
Mary Prudden, NKCF Director
Joe Boyd, Avellino Global Head of Sales and Marketing
Participants can register for the event here and click on the provided link to view the livestream.