In Paris, a 58-year-old patient who had been blind for 40 years, partially regained his eyesight, thanks to gene therapy. Hope for all blind and partially sighted people.
For twelve years, researchers at the Institute of Vision in Paris have worked on a project to restore vision to people blind. Two years ago, a 58-year-old patient started gene therapy. The man suffers from a degenerative disease that led to his gradual loss of vision.
The blind patient partially recovered their sight
Through photostimulation and a method of gene therapy, called optogenetics, the patient partially recovered Scenery. Optogenetics has been used for about twenty years, but this is the first time it has worked successfully with a human. To work, a genetically modified virus was injected into the patient’s right eye.
Image source: Sahel, et al., Nature Medicine
Thanks to the special glasses, the patient was able to distinguish the world around him, with a slight amber tint. During the tests, he was able to see the 3D environment, distinguish objects and estimate the distance between them. This success is the first of its kind in the world.
“This is the first time that optogenetics has shown a clinical result in all specialties. We opened pages of hope for him and other patients.”Jose Alain Sahl, a professor at the head of a French-American team, said at the origin of this medical discovery.
At present, this treatment is still in the clinical trial phase and cannot be used for everyone. blind. However, the researchers hope to expand the treatment to all visually impaired people.
“What we hope is that it could affect patients in the early stages of the disease. But there are other approaches that can treat the previous conditions. All diseases in which the retina is affected, but if the optic nerve continues to function, it is likely to be involved in the long term.”Professor Jose Alan Sahel said.