New Genetic Discovery Helps Solve the Mystery of Childhood Blindess

January 9th, 2015 by FFB Canada

“It was like finding a needle in a haystack,” said Dr. Robert Koenekoop. “It was so obvious to all of us that this was big.” With ongoing support from the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB), Dr. Koenekoop has spent more than a decade searching for genes that could open up new sight-saving therapies. What makes this…

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Saving Photoreceptors

December 4th, 2014 by FFB Canada

Photoreceptor cells in the eye capture light, making vision possible. In retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and dry age-related macular degeneration, photoreceptors die, causing vision loss. Why do photoreceptors die? This question motivates many Foundation-funded scientists, who are looking for ways to protect these cells and prevent them from dying. Foundation-funded scientist, Dr. Phillipe…

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How Does The Eye Respond to Motion?

November 28th, 2014 by FFB Canada

To restore sight, many researchers are trying to figure out how to replace damaged photoreceptors, which are essential for vision. Replacing lost photoreceptors, however, only solves part of the larger puzzle of curing blindness. Vision is a complicated process that requires more than just photoreceptors. There are many different cell types that work together in…

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FFB Partners With Ontario Institute of Regenerative Medicine

November 26th, 2014 by FFB Canada

It is an exciting time for stem cell research in Ontario. Yesterday, the Minister of Research and Innovation, Reza Moridi, announced Ontario’s $3.1 million commitment to establish the new Ontario Institute of Regenerative Medicine (OIRM). Building on the expertise and success of the Ontario Stem Cell Initiative and the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine,…

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Stem Cell Therapies Are in the Spotlight & Everyone is Watching the Eye

October 29th, 2014 by FFB Canada

Over the past two decades, scientists, politicians, and activists have been fighting about stem cells, which have the potential (under the right conditions) to make any type of cell in the body. While some people vehemently object to using stem cells, especially embryonic stem cells obtained from human embryos, others argue that stem cells are…

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Regenerative Medicine Milestone: Stem Cell Clinical Trial Announces Positive Results

October 16th, 2014 by FFB Canada

Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), an early leader in the field of regenerative medicine, recently published data in The Lancet that shows positive results from its ongoing stem cell transplantation trial. The clinical trial uses ACT’s proprietary retinal pigmented epithelial cells (RPE), derived from stem cells, to treat Stargardt’s disease and dry age-related macular degeneration. Published…

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Why Do Photoreceptors Die? New Discovery Reveals Important Clues

October 15th, 2014 by FFB Canada

We need photoreceptors to see; without them, we have no way to sense light and the world becomes dark. Photoreceptor degeneration is shared by a variety of retinal diseases ranging from retinitis pigmentosa (RP) to age-related macular degeneration. Because of this, scientists are trying to regenerate lost photoreceptors. Dr. Michel Cayouette also wants to know…

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A New Kind of Vision

October 14th, 2014 by FFB Canada

How would you describe what it feels like to see something? We have lots of language to help us with this. We can talk about colours, textures, shadows, scenery, and movement. We can talk about faces, objects, and silhouettes. The central role that vision plays in shaping our perception of the world is reflected in…

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Discovery Paves Road for New Treatments to Prevent Blindness in Babies

September 17th, 2014 by FFB Canada

Babies born with Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), one of the most common causes of vision loss in children, stand to benefit from an exciting discovery made possible, in part, by the Foundation Fighting Blindness. The discovery was published on September 14, 2014 in the prestigious medical journal, Nature Medicine. The study’s lead author, Dr. Jean-Sébastien…

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Can Stem Cells Be Used to Treat AMD?

September 17th, 2014 by FFB Canada

The world’s first transplantation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into the eye of a human patient took place on September 12, 2014, in Japan. The recipient of the experimental treatment, a Japanese woman in her 70s, suffers from age-related macular degeneration. The transplanted cells were derived from the patient’s own skin cells. Masayo Takahashi,…

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