Bringing back vision to patients with the use of monkeys
Researchers from the Paris Vision Institute, France, have made further groundbreaking advances with a potential therapy to restore sight in humans.
Although medical devices that stimulate the retina can restore some vision, patients are still not able to recognise faces or move independently.
To gain sharper visual perception, the team developed an optogenetic therapy – a technique that involves the use of light to control brain cells – in monkeys.
These results lay the groundwork for an ongoing clinical trial for vision restoration in human patients who have a genetic disorder of the eyes that causes a loss of vision called retinitis pigmentosa.
“The study in monkeys allowed the Vision Institute to create an effective optogenetic therapy that could have a positive impact in patients suffering from some types of blindness,” said Serge Picaud, Research Director at Paris Vision Institute.