Gene Therapy Partially Restores Vision

Gene Therapy Partially Restores Vision

Gene Therapy Partially Restores Vision in Blind Patient in First Case of Its Kind.

A blind man who lost his sight to a neurodegenerative eye disease decades ago has had his vision partially restored, thanks to a first-of-its-kind experimental gene therapy.

The patient in question, a 58-year-old male, was diagnosed 40 years ago with retinitis pigmentosa: a progressive, inherited group of genetic disorders that leads to loss of vision due to mutations that cause light-sensitive photoreceptor cells in the retina to break down.Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is generally considered a rare disorder, with estimates suggesting only one in 4,000 people have the condition, but it’s nonetheless thought to affect approximately 2 million people worldwide.

For those people and their families, recent advancements in optogenetics could be a source of new hope for restored vision – although it’s worth emphasizing this approach is still very much in the experimental stage, with practical treatments likely to be years away.

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