Sunday, March 6, 2016

Gene Therapy Helps Sheep Overcome “Day Blindness”

The Foundation Fighting Blindness, where Louis Kreisberg is CEO, supports a blog called “Eye on the Cure,” which explores the latest research in retinal disease. Recently the blog discussed a new therapy which was tried on sheep suffering from achromatopsia, an illness that not only affects sheep but about 100,000 people each year, causing blindness in light conditions.

Sheep with the illness were treated by a research team led by Eyal Banin, MD, PhD of Hadassah Medical Center in Israel. University of Florida’s William Hauswirth, PhD supplied the gene-delivery system, the human-engineered adeno-associated virus, or AAV, which delivered the healthy gene to the sheep retinas.

Sheep with achromatopsia were given the virus loaded with the good gene. Whereas before the treatment they could not successfully navigate through a maze to find their flock, after the treatment they were successful.

The research results were published in the journal Molecular Therapy.

The below video shows the results of the therapy:

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