My name is Matthew Campbell.
I'm based at the Smurfit Institute
in Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.
And today, I'm going to talk about
some research results
that we have that suggest that aspects
of the NLRP3 inflammasome
may have a protective effect
in the degenerative eye disease,
age-related macular degeneration,
or AMD for short.
AMD is a very prevalent
cause of central retinal blindness.
And to give you the perspective
of AMD in a country
the size of Ireland
with a population of about 4.5 million,
in this country,
we have a prevalence
of AMD at about 7.2%.
So that's roughly aligned
with the similar prevalence of AMD
that's observed in Western Europe,
and in the US where about
10% of individuals
over the age of 50 present
with AMD of some sort.
In Ireland, over 1 million people
are over the age of 50 years,
and of that, over 70,000 people
have some sort of AMD.
So this is a very, very
common form of blindness.
The life expectancy for men
in Ireland is approximately 78 years,
and for women, it's 82 years.
So again, this is very well aligned
with figures in Western Europe
and even the US.
And interestingly, life expectancy
has been going up by approximately
six hours every day since 1900.
And so it stands to reason
that with a growing increase
in the aging population,
the cases of AMD
are going to continue to rise,
and this is going to present
with a very major problem
in the years ahead.