Message To My Younger Self: Victoria

July 12th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Paralympian & Cycle for Sight participant, Victoria Nolan, shares how she used sports to cope with losing her vision:

Canadian Scientists Show ‘Proof of Principle’ for LCA Gene Therapy

June 11th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Research led by Dr. Robert Molday at the University of British Columbia has shown that gene therapy designed to target the RD3 gene can protect light-sensing photoreceptors and restore visual function in mice. In humans, mutations in the RD3 gene interfere with the production of an essential protein in the eye and cause Leber congenital…

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Valproic Acid: The Perils of Using Drugs Off-Label

May 27th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Almost three years ago, scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School reported on a preliminary clinical trial of the epilepsy drug, valproic acid, as potential treatment for autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP). The trial was a brief four month snap-shot of the treatment of 7 people, but its findings were exciting. In five out…

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A Conversation with Yves Sauve about Vitamins & AMD

May 17th, 2013 by FFB Canada

A decade ago, AREDS (the Age-Related Eye Disease Study) showed that people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) who regularly took a high-dose formula of antioxidant vitamins could reduce their risk of developing advanced AMD by about 25%.  Taking AREDS vitamins works, but could it work better? That is the question that the AREDS2 trial aimed…

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Usher Syndrome Findings Focus on Genetic Knowledge & Ongoing Trial

May 9th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Two reports at ARVO may be of interest to people with Usher syndrome. The first focused on the largest ever study of the USH2A gene. The Genetics of USH2A We know that mutations in the USH2A gene are the commonest cause of both Usher syndrome and autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (RP), but until now scientists…

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Making Gene Therapy Useful for More Conditions

May 8th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Gene therapy is one promising approach to treating inherited retinal diseases. In this type of therapy uses a viral vector, a hollowed-out virus (with the disease-causing components removed). This viral vector is used to carry a healthy new gene into the cell.  In many types of inherited retinal disease, this healthy gene may be able…

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Retinitis Pigmentosa Drug may have Long-Term Positive Effect

May 6th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Earlier this year, we reported on the Japanese glaucoma drug, unoprostone isopropyl, and its use for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa.  In early trials of the drug to determine the best dosage (phase II trials), people taking the drug reported improvement in their night-time and dim-light vision. After six months of treatment of receiving the…

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Vitamin Supplements & AMD

May 6th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Vitamin supplements are widely used by people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to slow the development of the disease. A large US study, called AREDS (age-related eye disease study), was completed several years ago, which showed that one formulation of vitamins, now called the AREDS formulation, could reduce the risk of developing advanced AMD by…

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The Genetics of Choroideremia

May 6th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Dr. Ian MacDonald and his team at the University of Alberta are internationally recognized experts in the study of choroideremia, a rare blinding disease that typically affects young men beginning in adolescence. Dr. MacDonald and his team plan to begin the first Canadian clinical trial of a therapy for choroideremia, later this year. Your donations…

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XIAP Gene Therapy May Protect Against AMD

May 5th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Dry age-related macular degeneration is a common disease of older adults. It occurs when the cells of the retina are damaged by the build-up of toxins. These toxins are visible in the retina in clumps of waste called drusen. Dr. Matsubara and her team at the University of British Columbia have previously shown that components…

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