According to latest news, doctors have used the process of gene therapy in order to regain a partial vision of a blind man which is one of the first attempts in this field. This is a big success in the medical field. The study team altered the cells of the ganglion in the retina genetically for them to behave as a light-sensitive cells.
Blind Man was Able To Regain Partial Vision By Gene Therapy
The vision of the person was destroyed by the retinitis pigmentosa, which is known to be a genetic disorder that destroys down the cells that convert the light into the signal impulses which are then transferred to the brain. Due to the lack of cells, the light is not able to convert it into the impulse thus impairing the vision of the person.
According to a journal published at Nature Medicine with the help of special spectacles the vision was partially active with the help of which the blind person who was around 58 years old was able to identify a notebook, street crosswalk, and many other things.
Dr. Jose Sahel, who is a professor at the ophthalmology in Pittsburgh University said that the patient is one of a kind in which optogenetics has shown some improvement. His light-sensitive cells showed an advancement that was never seen before.
Dr. Richard Rosen who is the chairman of the retinal services at Mount health system located in New York City said that he was very delighted to read the news and is looking forward to much more advancements in the field of retina and vision impairment treatment.
The most accurate thing that can show the structure of the retina to understand is that it is inverted. The cells or the light-detecting cells are present at the back of the retina.
While the cells known as the ganglions are present in the front of the retina which transmits the information through the photoreceptors to the brain in the form of electrical singles or impulses through the optic nerve. The Optogenetic field involves the alteration of the cells so they are able to produce light-sensitive proteins known as channelrhodopsins.
In the case of this blind person, the researchers were able to make the ganglion cells into photosensitive cell, which bypasses the non-operating photoreceptors. The doctors injected a hollowed but cold virus in the eyes of the man which contained the genetic code of the Chrimson R.
After getting used to the virus and when the improvement was seen in the collaboration of the virus with the retina, the man was given a special goggle.
This was used to project the visual picture into the retina at the light frequency. The doctors suggested that it will take time for the man to get used to the goggles and the new life. They added that he will now have to learn different languages and should learn different skills which he lacked when he was blind. The scientists said that this is a big step in the Optogenetic field.