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Participants needed for a national clinical trial for zoster eye disease at UAMS



Little Rock, Arkansas – The varicella-zoster virus, often known as zoster eye illness or shingles of the eye, is the subject of a nationwide, multicenter clinical trial being conducted by the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institutes at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

According to the press release, the National EYE Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health, has donated $15 million to the Zoster Eye Disease Study.

The trial will help assess whether protracted low-dose antiviral therapy would lessen side effects, such as blindness, for people with the condition, according to UAMS.

Over 60 Clinical Centers across the country and in Canada are taking part in the trial together with UAMS.

“The Jones Eye Institute is a national leader in the Zoster Eye Disease Study,” said David Warner, M.D., an ophthalmologist with the Eye Institute and principal investigator for the study at UAMS. “We are committed to participating in cutting-edge research to improve the treatment and lives of Arkansans, and help set new standards for the world.”

According to the press release, trial participants either get the antiviral medication valacyclovir or a placebo.

The herpes simplex virus, which is unrelated to the herpes virus but causes some infections, is treated with valacyclovir.

The trial will be used to evaluate its efficacy as a varicella-zoster virus treatment.

Adults who have experienced a common skin rash around the eye and active zoster eye illness within the past year are urged to sign up for the study, according to UAMS.

Patients whose conditions have remained stable for the past 12 months, as well as those with impaired renal function or weaker immune systems as a result of other illnesses or medical interventions, are ineligible.

Women who take specific types of birth control, are pregnant, or are nursing are also ineligible for the study.

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