16.08.2010

New gene therapy "may treat eye diseases"

New gene therapy "may treat eye diseases"

By Adrian Galbreth

A new type of eye therapy which may treat a number of eye diseases has been described as "promising" by experts.

Specialists at the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Boston believe that the "easy accessibility of the eye" and the established link between specific genetic defects and ocular disorders offers hope for using gene therapy to provide long-term benefits.

Basil Pawlyk and colleagues gave mice suffering from photoreceptor degeneration the human gene for RGPR-interacting protein-1 and found that, when injected under the retinas, the mice demonstrated expression of the human gene in the photoreceptors.

Further studies will now attempt to confirm the therapeutic qualities and feasibility of this method of treatment.

It comes as a study carried out by experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, showed that the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy continues to increase in US adults, which may reflect figures in the UK.

by Alexa Kaczka


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