The blind man regains partial vision after algae gene therapy

a blind man He partially regained his eyesight for the first time with the help of light-sensitive proteins that researchers had extracted from algae.

Scientists have used a type of gene therapy called optogenetics to add light-sensitive proteins to the retina of the 58-year-old French to control cells at the back of his eye. Although he did not regain full vision as a result, a man who wore special glasses could once again recognize and count different objects.

The man, who was being treated in Paris, 40 years ago was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a condition that causes the light-sensitive cells to die on the surface of the retina. It is said that around two million people worldwide suffer from this disease.

Optogenetics

In optogenetics, a relatively new approach in medicine, light-sensitive proteins are placed in individual neurons, allowing neuroscientists to influence the activity of these neurons with light. Researchers who published their findings in the professional journal Nature Medicine, Proteins used from algae and other microbes. Thus they can make every neuron sensitive to light.

“At first, the patient wasn’t able to see anything with the system, and that was very frustrating of course,” explains co-author José-Alain Sahel of the University of Pittsburgh. And then he became spontaneously excited and reported that he was capable of white lines (From a pedestrian crossing, ed.) Across the street. ‘

Christopher Petkoff, Professor of Neuropsychology at Newcastle University, Talks about a new teacher and indicates the importance of a follow-up study. This is a great development to restore vision using an innovative approach. The goal now is to find out how well this works in other patients with retinitis pigmentosa.

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