The first-of-its-kind treatment of GenSight Biologics has restored somewhat blind patient’s vision by combining gene therapy with special glasses.
Glasses helped the blind see again for the first time in decades because man realized that he could see when he was walking outside.
The 58-year-old began to lose his vision as a teenager due to a genetic condition called retinitis pigmentosa or “RP”. This condition affects two million people in the world, most of whom have no treatment.
According to Dr. Jose-Alan Sahel, co-founder of Gensite Biologics, says patients with retinitis pigmentosa initially lose vision. Eventually their central vision blurs and they become blind.
Usually, people with this genetic condition lose their vision permanently. But biotech company GenSight’s first-line treatment suggests some vision could be restored.
This technology uses gene therapy to replace cells in the eye, and activates them with special glasses. The method has its origins in nature. Dr. is an optometrist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Joseph Martell notes that two decades ago, scientists discovered a special protein derived from algae that reacts with light.
Scientists use viruses to genetically modify light-sensitive neurons to deliver these proteins to animals’ brains, a technique called ophthalmology. Using light, we can activate neurons to see how the brain works.
But GenSight’s researchers wanted to try this technology on the human retina. In a patient’s eye, the scientists modified the retinal cells and made them sensitive to amber light. They then designed the glasses with a special camera that converts images from the real world into pulses of amber light emitted directly into the eye.
However, researchers are not sure if patients can translate this new visual language visually. After 7 months, they improved and the patient was able to understand, point, and count.
Due to the infection, Zensite has only examined one patient, but nine patients are currently being tested for Zensite, and the company is working to expand clinical testing.
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