Announcing the Science Eye

A research team at Science has announced the creation of their flagship program, Science Eye, which aims to develop a visual prosthesis for patients with retinitis pigmentosa and dry age-related macular degeneration. In this combinatorial approach, the cells of the optic nerve will be modified via gene therapy to make them light-sensitive, while a microLED display will be inserted directly over the retina. Images detected by the microLED display will hopefully stimulate the optic nerve cells and potentially translate into a form of vision for patients who may otherwise go blind.

What this means for Usher syndrome:  This research has been conducted only on animal models, namely rabbits, thus far. However, the goal is to demonstrate sufficient safety data to gain approval for human clinical trials and, one day, a product that can be utilized in patients facing blindness from RP, including USH patients.

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