Research

Genetic Testing & Retinitis Pigmentosa

May 6th, 2014 by FFB Canada

For the past 20 years, scientists have been discovering the genetic mutations that underlie inherited retinal diseases like retinitis pigmentosa. As the technology to evaluate genetic mutations becomes more readily available, scientists are able to look at and evaluate samples from a large number of people. Finding genes and mutations are important, as this endeavour…

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One Year Results of Choroideremia Gene Therapy Trial

May 4th, 2014 by FFB Canada

In January, follow-up results from the first six months of the British choroideremia gene therapy trial were published. At the Association for Vision Research and Ophthalmology meeting today, the team led by Dr. Robert MacLaren and Dr. Miguel Seabra presented the outcomes for the first year of the study. Once again, Dr. MacLaren and colleagues…

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Trial of Treatment to Slow Retinitis Pigmentosa Vision Loss Begins in Italy

April 15th, 2014 by FFB Canada

An eye drop designed to slow the advance of retinitis pigmentosa has just begun testing in human clinical trials. The drug contains recombinant human Nerve Growth Factor (rhNGF), a molecule that investigators believe will help slow the death of photoreceptors, potentially protecting and extending vision. The trial will involve 50 people treated at five clinical…

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Geneticist’s Sight-Saving Contributions Recognized

March 31st, 2014 by FFB Canada

Dr. Jane Green’s research has improved life for thousands of people with inherited retinal diseases. Her pioneering research, supported by the Foundation Fighting Blindness, helped give many people a clear diagnosis and understanding of their disease, which is the first step in learning how to cope with it and plan for the future. Early this month,…

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A Link Between Exercise & Vision Health

March 25th, 2014 by FFB Canada

Now that spring finally seems like a possibility, there is another good reason to get out an exercise. A new study from scientists in Atlanta is beginning to explain how exercise can help protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – and perhaps other retinal diseases as well. Like much research, this study was done in mice….

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New Compound May Be the Basis of a Promising Drug to Reverse Retinal Blindness

February 20th, 2014 by FFB Canada

Retinal diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), occur because the eye’s light-sensing photoreceptors are destroyed over time. In the late stages of these conditions, this causes loss of vision. Recent research suggests that a newly-developed “photo-switch” compound may allow other cells in the eye to act as photoreceptors – potentially restoring…

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Testing the Safety of Induced Stem Cell Therapies

February 5th, 2014 by FFB Canada

To restore sight to a damaged retina, one promising strategy is to replace the damaged cells with new ones. One way to do this is to start with stem cells and transform them to create new retinal cells. In the last few years, scientists have demonstrated that that retinal cell transplants are possible in mice,…

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First Gene Therapy Results for Choroideremia Suggest Cautious Optimism

January 16th, 2014 by FFB Canada

The first human trial of a gene therapy for choroideremia has announced preliminary results on six people; two of these patients have experienced significant improvements in vision. The findings were published in the British journal, The Lancet. The novel gene treatment was developed by Dr. Robert MacLaren, at Oxford University, in collaboration with Dr. Miguel…

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Allergies May Protect Against AMD

January 8th, 2014 by FFB Canada

A history of allergies may reduce a person’s risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). That is the message of a European study led by a German scientist, Dr. Sascha Fauser, at the University Hospital of Cologne. The study involved over 3,800 Europeans, who were part of a European genetics database. Half had AMD, and…

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Fine-tuning Optogenetic Treatments to Create More Useful Vision

December 16th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Optogenetics is an important new science that may have sight-restoring capacities for people living with retinal blindness. Optogenetics uses light-sensitive molecules derived from algae, called channel rhodopsins, to give light-sensing capacity to nerve cells. Retinal degenerative diseases usually attack and eventually destroy the rod and cone photoreceptors, but often these and other retinal cells remain…

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