Skip to content

Breakthrough announced in hereditary condition that causes blindness

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/11/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Stem cells used in study of retinitis pigmentosa to identify faulty genes

Retinitis pigmentosa, or RP is an inherited, degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and frequently leads to blindness. Affecting around one in 3,000 to 4,000 people, scientists have moved closer to a breakthrough in "personalized" treatments for a leading cause of blindness.

The age at which symptoms start is variable and the rate of deterioration often varies. In around half of all cases there are other family members with the condition.

The age at which symptoms start is variable and the rate of deterioration often varies. In around half of all cases there are other family members with the condition.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
7/11/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Retinitis pigmentosa, night blindness, research


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Individual gene therapies are being used to determine the factors which triggers inherited vision loss.

Researchers used "induced" stem cells, which were taken from ordinary skin cells to investigate patient-specific causes of RP. 

Join the fight to end world hunger, by going here --

By testing retinal cells created from the stem cells in the laboratory, scientists linked RP in two patients to mutations in a gene called MFRP. They then then used a virus to deliver normal copies of the gene into the retinal cells and restore their function.

The gene therapy was used in further experiments to rescue the vision of genetically modified mice with RP caused by the same problem.

"The use of patient-specific cell lines for testing the efficacy of gene therapy to precisely correct a patient's genetic deficiency provides yet another tool for advancing the field of personalized medicine," lead scientist Professor Stephen Tsang, from Columbia University in New York, says.

Symptoms of retinitis pigmentosa become apparent from early childhood, while others may not know they have it until later in life. Caused by abnormalities of the eye's photoreceptors or the pigmented cell later or the retina, the condition leads to gradual sight loss.

Those with the disease can experience night blindness while others will lose central vision causing the person to look sidelong at objects. RP is one of the most common forms of inherited loss in vision.

The age at which symptoms start is variable and the rate of deterioration often varies. In around half of all cases there are other family members with the condition.

The condition has been a difficult for researchers as 60 different genes have been linked to RP, making it a difficult disease to study.

Symptoms typically begin with night blindness after which peripheral vision is lost.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for FEBRUARY 2017
Comfort for the Afflicted.
That all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.


Comments


More Health

Day of the Sick at Lourdes: 'God Doesn't Ask Us to Be Super-Heroes'

Image of

"God doesn't ask us to be super-heroes," assured Cardinal Pietro Parolin, on February 11, 2017,  the 25th World Day of the Sick. ... continue reading


Pope Francis speaks of 'light and shadow' in healthcare sector Watch

Image of

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Friday spoke about the situations of "light and shadow" in the healthcare sector, thanking God for ... continue reading


Why was this medieval leper buried with this holy artifact? Watch

Image of The grave of Sk27 has one notable artifact, a scallop shell which told researchers he was a religious pilgrim.

Researchers have uncovered the grave of an unusual leprosy patient from medieval England. His bones tell a story that could help rewrite ... continue reading


Ask DMU: 5 Factors for Solid Therapy Watch

Image of

As we approach both Christmas and the New Year, many of us like to take stock of the past year and to make concrete plans for the next. ... continue reading


Is this the way the world ends? Humans have officially lost the war against bacteria Watch

Image of Klebsiella pneumoniae is a common bacteria found virtually everywhere. But at least one strain is resistant to all antibiotics.

For decades, doctors have warned that germs are evolving faster than we can produce new antibiotics to kill them. Eventually our ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.