A new method based on gene therapy can possibly help restore vision

Researchers have recently managed to develop a new method based on gene therapy that has the potential Restore vision in patients with congenital and genetic disorders. In this way, certain cells in the retina differentiate into light-sensitive cells that can respond to light in the same way as normal cells.

How does gene therapy restore eyesight?

In a recent study, researchers at the University of Montreal in Canada have found a new way to restore vision using gene therapy. They have been able to find a way to convert Müller cells in the retina into nerve cells, which then have the potential to differentiate into light-sensitive cells. Such cells can restore the sense of sight by receiving light and converting it into nerve messages.

Müller cells usually play a supporting role for the survival of retinal nerve cells, and in case of damage to this part, they can play an important role in retinal regeneration. Of course, there is no such ability in mammals, and the human retina is not able to repair the damage. Now, researchers have been able to find the genes involved in such a process, whose reactivation can restore said ability.

Restore vision
Schematic illustration of the general process of converting inactive cells into photoreceptor cells.

Genetic diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa can cause the gradual loss of light-sensitive cells in the retina. Such diseases usually cause a decrease in night vision at first; But their progress over time can cause severe disturbances in a person’s vision and deprive him of the ability to recognize details and colors. In some special cases, the patient eventually becomes completely blind.

Although the new method based on gene therapy to restore vision is still in its early stages, researchers hope to eventually be able to use this method to help patients with genetic disorders such as retinitis pigmentosa. It is worth noting that other similar treatments have also shown promising results in slowing the progression of diseases or preventing them in the early stages. Artificial retina is another method that can help restore vision in patients.

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