Penn researchers report that gene therapy awakens the brain despite blindness from birth

Philadelphia - Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have demonstrated that gene therapy used to restore retinal activity to the blind also restores function to the brains visual center, a critical component of seeing. The multi-institutional study led by Geoffrey K. Aguirre, assistant professor of neurology in Penn's School of Medicine, shows that gene therapy can improve retinal, visual-pathway and visual-cortex responses in animals born blind and has the potential to do the same in humans.

The retina of the eye captures light, but the brain is where vision is experienced, Aguirre said. The traditional view is that blindness in infancy permanently alters the structure and function of the brain, leaving it unable to process visual information if sight is restored. Weve now challenged that view.

The results support the potential for human benefit from retinal therapies aimed at restoring vision to those with genetic retinal disease. Researchers used functional MRI to measure brain activity in blind dogs born with a mutation in gene RPE65, an essential molecule in the retinoid-visual cycle. The same mutation causes a blindness in humans called Leber congenital amaurosis, or LCA. It is the first human eye-retinal disorder slated for gene therapy.

Gene therapy, performed by introducing a working copy of RPE65 into the retina, restored eye function in canines. Yet, it was previously unclear if the brain could receive the restored sight.

The team found that gene therapy to the eye dramatically increased responses to light within the visual cortex of the canine brain. The recovery of visual brain function occurred in a canine that had been blind for the first four years of its life, and recovery was found to persist in another dog for at least two-and-a-half years after therapy, suggesting a level of permanence to the treatment.

Penn scientists then studied the structure and function of the visual

Contact: Jordan Reese
University of Pennsylvania

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Innovative tagging technique may help researchers better protect fish stocks
2. Penn researchers discover how key protein stops inflammation
3. ASU researchers partner with UOP to make biofuel for military jets a reality
4. Einstein researchers prototype vaccine could provide improved protection against tuberculosis
5. Penn researchers discover pathway that eliminates genetic defects in red blood cells
6. U-M researchers find family of on switches that cause prostate cancer
7. 2007 EURYI: 20 young researchers to receive Nobel Prize-sized awards for breakthrough ideas
8. Pets could be source of multiresistant bacteria infections in humans, MU researchers investigate
9. MGH researchers confirm that bone marrow restores fertility in female mice
10. Smithsonians National Zoo researchers use electronic eggs to help save threatened species
11. U-M researchers identify gene involved in breast cancer

Post Your Comments:

(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017   Bridge ... health organizations, and MD EMR Systems , ... development partner for GE, have established a partnership ... Portal product and the GE Centricity™ products, including ... EMR. These new integrations will ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... The global military biometrics market ... by the presence of several large global players. The ... major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, M2SYS Technology, ... 61% of the global military biometric market in 2016. ... military biometrics market boast global presence, which has catapulted ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through its 3D ... will run alongside the expo portion of the event ... and demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D printing ... and manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Proscia ... be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” ... pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. ... Cancer Research, London (ICR) and University ... SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma ... MUK nine . The University of Leeds ... partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... A new study published in ... and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. The multi-center matched ... , After comparing the results from the fresh and frozen transfer cohorts, the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... CALIF. (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... San ... part of its corporate rebranding initiative announced today. The bold new look is ... reach, as the company moves into a significant growth period. , It will also ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: