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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RPE65 Gene Therapy Trials for Leber Congenital Amaurosis Update

May 27th, 2014 by FFB Canada

At the Association of Vision Research and Ophthalmology meeting earlier this month, Dr. Jean Bennett delivered a keynote address focusing on gene therapies. Dr. Bennett has been the principal investigator for some of the trials of gene therapy for Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) type 2 (caused by mutations in RPE65). It is a series of…

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Potential Therapy to Slow Retinal Vision Loss

May 8th, 2014 by FFB Canada

Today, at the ARVO meeting, a Canadian team led by Dr. Uri Saragovi presented details of a potential therapy for retinitis pigmentosa and other retinal degenerative diseases. The therapy is based on GDNF (Glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor) a substance naturally found in the body. The therapy is not ready for human testing yet, but the early evidence…

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Valproic Acid as a Treatment for Retinitis Pigmentosa

May 7th, 2014 by FFB Canada

Clinical trials of valproic acid for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa began in both the USA and Korea in late 2011. As well, a smaller shorter open-label trial was begun in Japan. Although the two larger trials have not yet reported, results of the small 30-person Japanese trial were presented at ARVO. The trial did…

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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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