British scientists claim breakthrough in gene eye treatmentApril 28th, 2008 - 6:59 pm ICT by admin
London, April 28 (DPA) A British teenager who suffered from a rare eye disorder which meant he was unable to see in the dark has had his eyesight partly restored by revolutionary new gene treatment, it was reported Monday. Steven Howarth, 18, is one of three patients who took part in a medical trial carried out by scientists at London’s renowned Moorfields Eye Hospital and University College London, the New England Journal of Medicine reported.
The experimental therapy involves inserting genes into the back of the patient’s eye to correct a genetic fault that stops their retinas detecting light properly, a condition known as Leber’s congenital amaurosis (LCA).
The two other patients, aged 17 and 23, suffered no ill-effects but did not report any improvement, the US science journal said.
“Now, my sight when it’s getting dark or it’s badly lit is definitely better. It’s a small change but it makes a big difference to me,” said Howarth, a student and guitarist.
“Before the operation, I used to rush home from college when it started to get dark because I was worried about getting around,” Howarth, from Bolton, north-west Britain, said.
LCA is an inherited disorder that causes progressive deterioration in vision and can lead to blindness in teenagers. It occurs when faulty genes, called RPE65, stop the layer of cells at the back of the eye working.
“Showing for the first time that gene therapy can work in patients with eye disease is a very significant milestone,” said Robin Ali, whose team conducted the trial, which was backed by one million pounds ($2 million) from the British government.
“This trial establishes proof of principle of gene therapy for inherited retinal disease and paves the way for the development of gene therapy approaches for a broad range of eye disorders,” he said.
Lynda Cantor, founder of the British Retinitis Pigmentosa Society, said: “Proving the principles behind gene therapy, and that it can be used safely in the retina, is fantastic news,” she said.
- Promising results of gene therapy to treat eye diseases - Aug 14, 2010
- Gene therapy improves vision for as long as one year - Aug 13, 2009
- London hospital to do Europe's first embryonic stem cell trial - Sep 24, 2011
- Stem cell therapy for age-related macular degeneration may soon be a reality - Mar 25, 2011
- Gene therapy to treat blindness on the anvil - Aug 01, 2009
- 'Bionic eye' to help the blind 'see' - Dec 21, 2010
- Compound likely to regenerate vision in humans - Jul 26, 2012
- Single shot of gene therapy could make kids with congenital blindness see - Oct 25, 2009
- Top Medical Advances in 2009 - Jan 02, 2010
- Astonishing bionic enables blind to see - Nov 22, 2011
- Neoretina offers advanced surgery - Jan 19, 2012
- Novel way to prevent blindness caused by retinitis pigmentosa - Jun 12, 2010
- New hope for restoring vision in the blind - Sep 22, 2010
- Scientists create retina from human embryonic stem cells - May 27, 2010
- Eye rich source of flexible adult stem cells - Jan 09, 2012
Tags: british scientists, british teenager, congenital amaurosis, england journal of medicine, experimental therapy, eye treatment, faulty genes, gene therapy approaches, gene treatment, genetic fault, medical trial, moorfields eye hospital, new england journal, new england journal of medicine, progressive deterioration, rare eye disorder, retinal disease, retinitis pigmentosa society, university college london, west britain