New gene therapy could save ageing eyesight

British surgeons discover a gene therapy operation to stop macular deterioration.

New gene therapy could save ageing eyesight

British surgeons have successfully carried out a gene therapy operation to stop macular deterioration. A new trial being conducted at the Oxford Eye Hospital in the UK will check the safety of the procedure in 10 volunteer patients who have already lost some vision.

Age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of sight loss in the developed world, with nearly one per cent of the population affected by it. If successful, this treatment could have major implications for patients' quality of life.

Robert MacLaren, professor of ophthalmology at the University of Oxford who carried out the operation described the procedure as, “A genetic treatment administered early on to preserve the vision in patients who would otherwise lose their sight.”

“We’re harnessing the power of the virus, a naturally occurring organism, to deliver the DNA into the patient’s cells,” he said.

“When the virus opens up inside the retinal cell it releases the DNA of the gene we have cloned, and the cell starts making a protein that we think can modify the disease, correcting the imbalance of the inflammation caused by the complement system.”

If the trial proves successful, would you undergo such a procedure to save your eyesight?

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    ace
    21st Feb 2019
    10:56am
    Yes of course !!!
    mogo51
    21st Feb 2019
    11:47am
    I have macular degeneration and wish I could get on the programs.
    Arvo
    21st Feb 2019
    12:02pm
    Sure will!!! When will the trials prove themselves? Is there a trial in Australia?
    floss
    21st Feb 2019
    12:16pm
    I wish this had been around for mum.
    Arvo
    21st Feb 2019
    12:29pm
    floss- It's very sad. My mum also became legally blind around 80 years of age after a laser surgery. . Was your mum a smoker? diabetic? or something else was the cause?
    jackie
    21st Feb 2019
    12:51pm
    I just got diagnosed with it.
    gerry
    21st Feb 2019
    2:43pm
    I,d have a go,10 yrs ago I had my eyes lasered,took only a few seconds,walked out and could read anything, 3 years ago I had new lenses and 6 months ago a touch up,now I have 20/20 at 83 yrs old
    gerry
    21st Feb 2019
    2:43pm
    I,d have a go,10 yrs ago I had my eyes lasered,took only a few seconds,walked out and could read anything, 3 years ago I had new lenses and 6 months ago a touch up,now I have 20/20 at 83 yrs old


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