29.01.2016

Blind parachuter has vision improved

Blind parachuter has vision improved

A parachuter who lost his sight has had it restored thanks to an innovative new drug which holds hope for other people across the globe.

In a trial for the medication Idebenone, 58-year-old West Sussex man Mike Scholes found that it helped to treat his Leber"s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON), which is an inherited condition causing sudden and rapid vision loss, MSNBC.com reported.

His eyesight had failed rapidly after he began exhibiting the symptoms of LHON and so he took part in the trial, which was held at Newcastle University’s Institute of Genetic Medicine.

Although he was one of the few people to benefit from the treatment, which ultimately led to it being halted due to the minor statistic benefit, his vision improved to the extent where he could make out colours and his focus sharpened.

He told the website: "I did a parachute jump to raise funds for guide dogs for the blind. And a year after my sight went, I ran my first marathon."

It is now hoped that further studies using the basis for Idebenone could lead to new therapies being developed for people who suffer from LHON, which affects an estimated 2,000 people in the UK.

by Emily Tait


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