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Pioneering gene therapy has restored some vision to John Radcliffe Hospital patients with a rare form of genetic blindness for as long as four years, raising hopes it could be used to cure common causes of vision loss, new University of Oxford research published today shows.

Robert MacLaren in theatre
Robert MacLaren in theatre

A technique which involves injecting a virus into the eye to deliver billions of healthy genes to replace a key missing gene for choroideremia sufferers has provided sustained improvement in vision for up four years for some patients.

This provides the strongest evidence so far in humans that the effects of gene therapy are potentially permanent and could therefore provide a single treatment cure for many types of inherited blindness. These include retinitis pigmentosa, which affects young people, and age-related macular degeneration, which affects the older age group.

Read more on the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust website...

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