This Treatment Could Help Adults With Inherited Blindness Partially Recover Their Vision, According To New Research

Pixel-Shot - - illustrative purpose only, not the actual person

Inherited retinal diseases, also known as IRDs, are a disease group that can, unfortunately, cause severe vision loss or blindness.

“Each IRD is caused by at least one gene that is not working as it should. IRDs can affect individuals of all ages, can progress at different rates, and are rare,” according to Prevent Blindness.

Although, a groundbreaking new study conducted by researchers at the University of California has discovered that the adult brain can potentially recover from inherited blindness.

The team was specifically studying a treatment for Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA)– a subgroup of IRDs characterized by severe visual impairment from birth.

This impairment is caused by a mutation in any of over twenty-four genes and results in either dysfunction or degeneration of the retina’s photoreceptors.

However, it has been known that among children, administering a chemical compound that is able to target the retina– known as a synthetic retinoid– can actually restore a significant amount of vision.

So, the team hoped to ascertain whether or not the same treatment could help adults with the same condition restore some eyesight.

And after testing this hypothesis with rodent models of LCA, amazingly, it worked.

“Frankly, we were blown away by how much the treatment rescued brain circuits involved in vision,” recalled Sunil Gandhi, a corresponding author of the study.

Pixel-Shot – – illustrative purpose only, not the actual person

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