Optogenetic Therapy

With the use of Optogenetic Therapy, scientists have partially restored the eyesight of a blind man. Optogenetics is a technique developed 20 years ago in the field of neuroscience and under this technique the cells are genetically altered to produce more light sensitive proteins.

About the therapy

It has been conducted on 58 year old man who had lost his sight 40 years ago due to an inherited photoreceptor disease. This was conducted by a group of scientists from Europe and USA who treated the man with various Optogenetic techniques.  Several months of stimulation with light emitting goggles, which transformed images of the visual world into light pulses projected into the retina in real time and injections in the eye are part of this technique.

Outcome of the therapy

While using the goggles the man was able to recognise, locate, touch and count the various objects laid out in front of him on a table. Also, he was able to touch a notebook laid out in front of him 92% of the time using the goggles but failed to do so without them.

Reaction of the scientists

The scientists involved in the project are elated with the outcome as the trial proves that with the use of Optogenetic therapy it is possible to restore the eyesight of people suffering from blindness. However, more tests need to be conducted before the treatment can be provided to patients clinically.


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