A new hope against blindness

Thanks to a new gene therapy, scientists have created light-sensitive cells using algae and microbes.

A team of researchers has successfully restored a blind person’s partial vision using a new type of gene therapy.

The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, is a milestone for a gene-based therapy that can effectively reverse a state of near-total blindness. The therapy involves, through injections, the activation of particular genes that help replace damaged or lost cells in the retina.

Of course, while this is an incredible find, it’s nowhere near complete restoration of sight.

These were the results of a clinical study focusing on the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa, a collection of rare and inherited vision disorders that can result in the rupture and death of cells in the retina.

After administering the new gene therapy, participants in the clinical trial experienced substantial vision restoration.

Typically, when light enters a human eye, it is captured via photoreceptor cells, which then transmit an electrical signal to ganglion cells via the optic nerve. This is a very important step towards treating the disorders that cause blindness in general and especially for those who suffer from very rare disorders, such as hereditary ones.

The new clinical trial represents a milestone from the 2000s era, so cautious optimism is highly deserved. This is not a panacea for blindness, but the new gene therapy legitimate reason for new hope against blindness.

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Source: Il Blog di Beppe Grillo by beppegrillo.it.

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