US researchers, from Harvard Medical School and the biotechnology company Life Biosciences, have developed the first treatment for an eye disease that can lead to blindness, using mice and monkeys.
At the annual meeting of the Association for Research and Vision Ophthalmology, a presentation on the study explained how vision was restored to monkeys with non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION).
NAION, which currently has no successful treatment, generally causes sudden vision loss in one eye and is due to a loss of blood flow to the optic nerve that connects the eye and brain.
The new treatment works by reprogramming faulty retinal cells in the eye so they are restored to healthy versions, leading to the monkeys regaining key aspects of their sight.
This therapy also has the potential to treat other related eye diseases, after further studies.