Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potential cure discovered for degenerative vision diseases leading to terminal blindness

Date:
August 6, 2010
Source:
Office of Naval Research
Summary:
Neurobiologists have discovered a potential cure for degenerative vision diseases leading to terminal blindness. Scientists may have discovered a cure to degenerative vision diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa. By manipulating proteins that cause blindness in mice the scientists have successfully restored vision in the light-sensing cells of the retina.

The retina on the left is normal. The one on the right displays retinitis pigmentosa.
Credit: Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research

Neurobiologists funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) have discovered a potential cure for degenerative vision diseases leading to terminal blindness. The solution, however, may be rooted in an unconventional therapeutic approach.

Related Articles


Scientists at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel, Switzerland, are manipulating the proteins that cause blindness in mice. The scientists have successfully restored vision in the light-sensing cells of the retina.

Dr. Thomas McKenna, program officer for ONR's Neural Computation Program, said this research has significant future implications.

"In the course of their study, these researchers discovered an approach to restore vision in blind mice with congenital macular degeneration," McKenna said. "This technology shows great promise for the partial restoration of vision for blind patients."

This initiative, supported by ONR Global's Naval International Cooperative Opportunities in Science and Technology Program (NICOP), studies retinitis pigmentosa, the incurable genetic eye disease, which causes more than 2 million worldwide cases of tunnel vision and night blindness. If left untreated, the disease can lead to complete blindness as the color-sensing cells in the retina slowly degenerate.

Dr. Clay Stewart, technical director, ONR Global, explained the importance of the NICOP program for providing a platform for innovative international basic research that could ultimately have a profound impact on naval activities.

McKenna, a recipient of the 2009 Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year award, said additional studies are needed before making the treatment available to visually challenged populations. Next, the team plans to explore the duration of therapeutic effects and whether the gene therapy could have applications for other eye diseases.

ONR's research is part of a global effort to combat visual diseases. The American Foundation for the Blind, a national nonprofit organization, reports that more than 25 million U.S. adults have some form vision loss. According to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, about 100,000 Americans suffer from retinitis pigmentosa.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Office of Naval Research. The original article was written by Rob Anastasio. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Office of Naval Research. "Potential cure discovered for degenerative vision diseases leading to terminal blindness." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100804122719.htm>.
Office of Naval Research. (2010, August 6). Potential cure discovered for degenerative vision diseases leading to terminal blindness. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100804122719.htm
Office of Naval Research. "Potential cure discovered for degenerative vision diseases leading to terminal blindness." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100804122719.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins