Gene therapy "may cure day blindness"

Gene therapy "may cure day blindness"

A unique type of gene therapy may help to cure a form of eye disease suffered by thousands of people across the globe, according to a new study.

Experts in veterinary ophthalmology from the University of Pennsylvania have used gene therapy to restore retinal cone function and day vision in two canine models of congenital achromatopsia, also known as total colour blindness.

It is hoped that the studies will pave the way for treatment on human subjects and help to relieve the condition in sufferers.

Andreas Komaromy, assistant professor of ophthalmology at the Penn School of Veterinary Medicine and lead author of the study, said: "The successful restoration of visual function with recombinant adeno-associated virus-mediated gene replacement therapy has ushered in a new era of retinal therapeutics."

It followed recent research carried out by Dr J William Harbour, an ophthalmologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri, who said that implanting radioactive discs in the eyes of children with a rare cancer may save their sight and eyes.

by Alexa Kaczka

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