Can you see the future?

”Can you see the future?” is a research collaboration with the aim to study whether physical activity can prevent progression and/or reduce negative health effects in elderly with the eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD), also known as age-related changes in the macula. The project has been granted 1.9 million euro from Regionalfonden Interreg Öresund-Kattegatt-Skagerack.

Logotyp för Interreg, Öresund-Kattegatt-Skagerrak

With an ageing population in the Nordic countries more people are affected by age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which means age-related changes in the yellow spot in the retina in the eye. In the desease, ageing causes damage to the macula, which is the part of the eye that provides the central vision and high quality vision such as fine vision and colour appreciation.

The Danish-Swedish collaborative project will investigate whether increased physical activity can prevent disease progression and/or reduce negative health effects in people with AMD.

The cause of the age-related changes is unknown, but the risk of being affected increases with age. AMD is the most common cause of pronounced visual impairment in people over 60 years. An impaired eyesight might result in limitations in everyday life, such as increased social isolation and reduced physical activity. This in turn can result in reduced muscle strength and balance with an increased risk of falls and fall injuries. This project can contribute to the development of knowledge about the AMD and its effects, and in a longterm support people living with the disease to a good life on equal terms.

The Danish arm of the study investigates whether psysical activity can delay the progression of AMD and visual impairment, while the Swedish arm studies how to promote sustainable participation in an empowerment-based physical activity program. The research program aims to improve the health and well-being, the vision-related quality of life as well as social participation for people with AMD. Halmstad University also contributes with expert expertise in health economic evaluation.

About the research project

The Interreg project "Can you see the future?" is a cross-border cooperation between Sweden and Denmark. The participating universities are:

  • Halmstad University, Sweden
  • Malmö University, Sweden
  • Zealand University Hospital, Denmark
  • University of Copenhagen, Denmark

The collaboration was initiated by the two Danish universities. Halmstad University hosts one of two Swedish specialist nursing programmes in Sweden with a focus on ophthalmic care.

The Halmstad University´s School of Health and Welfare, houses a combined expertise pool with researchers in health sciences, ophthalmic nursing, sports science, pedagogics and health economics.

Äldre man tittar ner i ett läsverktyg. Foto.

About the project

Project period:

January 2021–September 2022


  • Regionalfonden Interreg Öresund-Kattegatt-Skagerack


  • Halmstad University, Sweden
  • Malmö University, Sweden
  • Zealand University Hospital, Denmark
  • University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Project participants:

Professor Torben Lykke Sørensen, Zealand University Hospital, is project manager.

The project manager at Halmstad University: