Degenerative retinal disease is a leading cause of irreversible blindness and visual impairment in the world. This irreversible vision loss is caused by the degeneration of photoreceptor cells at the back of the eye.
Thanks to a ground-breaking discovery that could lead to new treatments for vision loss.
Université de Montréal researchers have found a way to activate dormant cells in the retina that could restore vision. The study offers hope for millions of people around the world who suffer from vision loss.
The researchers discovered that cells in the retina, known as Müller glial cells, can be transformed into tissues that are essential for vision. However, in most cases of vision loss, these cells remain dormant and do not regenerate. These Müller cells are known to reactivate and regenerate the retina in fish. But unfortunately, it doesn’t do the trick for most other animals, including humans.
The researchers found a way to activate these dormant cells and promote their regeneration for the restoration of vision
Researchers found that a group of genes called transcription factors were responsible for the regeneration of cells in the retina. By activating these genes, the researchers were able to stimulate the dormant Müller glial cells and promote their regeneration.
The team tested this method on mice with damaged retinas and found that activating these genes led to the regeneration of cells and an improvement in vision.
The researchers plan to further investigate this method in human cells to develop new treatments to restore vision in millions of people around the world.