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Approved Research

To explore the role and underlying mechanisms of circadian rhythm in the development and progression of diabetic retinopathy (DR)

Principal Investigator: Professor Zhi Zheng
Approved Research ID: 88982
Approval date: July 21st 2022

Lay summary

Aims: To determine the impact of circadian disruption in the development and progression of diabetic retinopathy (DR). And to investigate the possible mechanisms underlying the association between circadian rhythm and DR.

Scientific rationale: DR is the leading cause of preventable vision loss in working population worldwide, and its prevalence remains climbing with growing numbers of diabetes worldwide. Circadian rhythms are a series of behavioral and physiological processes in response to light-dark cycle, and its dysfunction due to sleep/wake disturbance have a strong correlation with eye health and metabolic syndrome through a variety of physiobiological pathways. Therefore, we aim to investigate whether and how circadian rhythmicity interact with the development and progression of DR. Furthermore, the underlying mechanism will be explored through multivariable linear/logistic regression, mediator analysis, and machine learning methods.

Project duration: 36 months.

Public health impact: This project will benefit millions of people with diabetes with or without DR globally. If risk factors related to circadian rhythms for DR are confirmed, then circadian rhythmicity may provide promising intervention targets and will open new opportunities for the prevention and management of DR.