Optogenetics looks at restoring sight to patients with rod/cone retinal damage in a whole new way. Generally, it’s the rods and cones in the retina that process light and send visual signals back to the brain. However, in many retinal diseases the ganglion cells are still operational.
But here’s the problem… ganglion cells don’t process light.
So what’s the solution? What if ganglion cells could be transformed into cells that CAN process light? Optogenetics, a form of gene therapy that can empower cells to respond to light, does just this!
And here’s the good news: This method has been working on mouse models and the Food and Drug Administration has just approved the launch of a human study to test safety. How exciting!
To learn more about the upcoming trial and how to become involved, read this post from Foundation Fighting Blindness.