Blindness treatment "a major step" in restoring sight

Blindness treatment "a major step" in restoring sight

A course of treatment which helped a man to see again after 55 years has positive repercussions for the future of studies into blindness, according to one expert.

Dr Olusola Olawoye, from the college of medicine at the University of Ibadan, said that the latest study, published in BioMed Central"s open access Journal of Medical Case Reports, is the first report of visual recovery in a patient with long-standing traumatic retinal detachment.

The two operations in the man"s retina, a year apart, helped him to regain sight form an eye that had not functioned properly in over half a century and prove that blindness can be reversed, Dr Olawoye explained.

"This is not only a great result for our patient but has implications for restoring eyesight in other patients, especially in the context of stem cell research into retinal progenitor cells which may be able to be transplanted into diseased retinas to restore vision," he explained.

Meanwhile, specialists from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis recently used cutting-edge stem cell technology to correct a genetic defect present in the rare blinding disorder gyrate atrophy, which they claim may be able to reverse blindness.

by Martin Burns

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