Ophthalmologists conducted the first surgery to preserve vision with genes

Age-related vision loss is quite a common phenomenon among all segments of the population. Scientists hope that over time this process can be stopped, and have already made a huge step towards achieving this goal. Ophthalmologists from the UK announced that they were able to successfully carry out an operation to stop development of the most common causes of vision loss among the elderly. They used a rather unusual approach, which involves the delivery of a special gene in certain group of cells with a virus.

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The most common cause of vision loss in people over 50 years old is considered age-related macular degeneration (VGP). It affects millions of people around the world, preventing the read and even recognize faces. It occurs subsequently to the destruction of retinal cells due to the aggressive reaction of the immune system caused by the activity of proteins.

Experimental therapy represents a delivery to retinal cells a special gene that blocks the immune response. That gene was taken correctly, the researchers used a safe virus that is placed in the back of the eye during surgery. According to ophthalmologist Robert MacLaren, this operation helps to relieve inflammation and to stop the degenerative process.

The first operation was made by 80-year-old resident of Oxford named Janet Osborne. According to her, she agreed to experimental surgery in the hope that it will help to prove its effectiveness to preserve the vision of millions of other people.

First I was thinking not about himself but about other people. As for me, I just hope that my eyesight will not become worse. It would be fantastic and would mean that I wouldn’t inconvenience my family.

Janet Osborne, patient

So gene therapy has become an official method of treatment, researchers have to conduct other experiments. They must prove the safety of the operation and its efficiency. In all of this the researchers can take no less than two years.

Recall that the new method of recovery in 2018 was offered and Russian researchers. Their idea also was to deliver special proteins with a virus — the difference was only that in the end, this protein could produce light-sensitive cells essential to vision.

What do you think, which year people will be able to forget about the vision problems? How humanity will achieve this? Write your guesses in the comments, and discuss him more in our Telegram chat.

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