Gene Therapy To Prevent Blindness By: Mary Villasol and Louie Vitan

What is it, How does it work, Where Did it come from?

Gene therapy that prevents blindness is a type of therapy that reverses the loss of vision in people born with an eye disease. It is an operation where an eye surgeon inserts a gene into the eye of the blind patient. A person with partial blindness would have a faulty gene which causes cells to die. Fluid would be injected to lift a layer of cells. Then, working copies of the faulty genes are implanted to stop the rest of the genes from dying. Three different groups of surgeons tried this procedure and got good results.

Development of Gene Therapy to Prevent Blindness

Gene therapy that prevented blindness was first just an idea of Eric Pierce. He talked with multiple people who were diagnosed with genetic retinal diseases. These diseases would leave them blind. His optimism was based off of data from past tests of gene therapy on both animals and humans. Data showed that dogs with a form of retinitis pigmentosa using gene therapy was successful. It also was used on fully developed dogs. Doing gene therapy on animals lead to the idea of using it on humans.

The Impact of Gene Therapy to Prevent Blindness

Gene therapy to prevent blindness has helped many people see again. One patient that was not able to books and write words, but after the therapy he was able to do all of that. The gene therapy has helped people see things with color too. Many patients have become more optimistic. The gene therapy has really helped a lot of people.

My Prediction if Gene Therapy to Prevent Blindness Became More Widespread

I think that if gene therapy that prevents blindness became more widespread, more people would have more would be able to use their eyes. More people would be able to do more things that they would not be able to do if they still had an eye disease. Some people will be able to learn more about the environment. Other people will be able see someone they have never seen before. If gene therapy to prevent blindness was known in other places, a lot of people would be able to see.

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