News of World Medicine

Breakthrough: Genetics have partially restored vision to blind people

A group of scientists has created a new gene therapy designed to help patients who lost their vision due to a hereditary disease - Leber congenital amberosis. The therapy can restore vision to the point where a person can navigate in a maze in dim light, The Deccan Chronicle reports.

The new therapy was called "voretigene neparvovec". It is a genetically modified version of a harmless virus. The experiment has shown a significant improvement of vision quality in 27 of 29 patients. In particular, they have an increased sensitivity to light and improved peripheral vision.

However, the vision was not restored completely. But the patients began to see the shapes of objects and light. So, in fact, they do not longer require a guide dog. The therapy effect has been remaining for two years. This treatment method can open the door for other gene therapies against more than 225 genetic mutations that cause blindness. In particular, geneticists will solve the problem of pigment retinitis.

Source: The Deccan Chronicle.