Genetics

Gene therapy for inherited blindness

Retinitis pigmentosa is the most prevalent form of congenital blindness. Using a retinitis pigmentosa mouse model, LMU researchers have now shown that targeted activation of genes of similar function can compensate for the ...

Medical research

Optic nerve stimulation to aid the blind

Scientists from EPFL in Switzerland and Scuola Superiore Sant"Anna in Italy are developing technology for the blind that bypasses the eyeball entirely and sends messages to the brain. They do this by stimulating the optic ...

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Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of genetic eye conditions that leads to incurable blindness. In the progression of symptoms for RP, night blindness generally precedes tunnel vision by years or even decades. Many people with RP do not become legally blind until their 40s or 50s and retain some sight all their lives. Others go completely blind from RP, in some cases as early as childhood. Progression of RP is different in each case.

RP is a type of progressive retinal dystrophy, a group of inherited disorders in which abnormalities of the photoreceptors (rods and cones) or the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) of the retina lead to progressive visual loss. Affected individuals first experience defective dark adaptation or nyctalopia (night blindness), followed by reduction of the peripheral visual field (known as tunnel vision) and, sometimes, loss of central vision late in the course of the disease.

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