US researchers "can prevent blindness"

US researchers "can prevent blindness"

Researchers in the US have conducted a study which they believe may lead to a cure for blindness.

Experts at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center have found a way to use a new type of gene therapy to prevent blindness caused by retinitis pigmentosa, which may give hope to the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from the condition worldwide.

The research was led by Dr Muna Naash, who discovered a way to deliver known gene therapies directly to the light-sensitive cells affected by the disease – a finding which is being used to develop new treatments for macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the western world.

"We hope the results of our study will be instrumental in generating a cure for the debilitating blindness associated with retinitis pigmentosa and other inherited and acquired retinal diseases," she said.

It comes after research has shown that Avastin improved the sight of patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.

by Emily Tait

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