Health

New technique of repairing injury to optic nerve gives hope for folks with glaucoma-related sight loss

Battle for Sight funded researchers have efficiently demonstrated a brand new technique of repairing injury to the optic nerve within the lab for the primary time, in new analysis that hopes to revive imaginative and prescient to those that’ve misplaced it because of glaucoma and different situations.

New method of repairing damage to optic nerve offers hope for people with glaucoma-related sight loss

Picture exhibits Professor Keith Martin in scrubs

The examine, which was revealed in Nature Communications this month, noticed researchers funded by eye analysis charity Battle for Sight based mostly at College of Cambridge collaborate with colleagues in Australia. The crew have been investigating if the gene accountable for the manufacturing of a protein referred to as protrudin, a so-called ‘scaffolding molecule’, might assist forestall and even restore injury to retinal cells brought on by glaucoma.

Researchers, led by Professor Keith Martin, Dr Richard Eva, Dr Veselina Petrova and Professor James Fawcett, used a cell tradition system to develop mind cells in a dish. They then used a laser to injure the cells’ nerve fibers (axons) and analysed the response to this harm utilizing a time lapse microscope and located that growing the quantity of protrudin in these nerve cells vastly elevated their means to restore themselves. The protrudin was delivered to the cells utilizing a gene remedy approach.

Glaucoma is the title for a gaggle of eye situations that trigger sight loss due to injury to the optic nerve – the nerve that connects the eyes to the mind. Previous to this examine, there was no remedy that allowed for injury to the optic nerve to be reversed. Round 500,000 persons are residing with glaucoma within the UK and it’s the second main explanation for blindness on the earth.

Regardless of all at present obtainable therapies, round 10-15% of sufferers with glaucoma go blind in at the least one eye throughout their lifetime. Not solely might this analysis be efficient in halting or reversing the injury brought on by glaucoma, it may be massively essential in enhancing success charges of eye transplants – serving to a transplanted eye to connect with the mind by rising axons by way of the optic nerve.”


Professor Keith Martin

The findings of this analysis are extremely promising – not only for folks with glaucoma-related sight loss, but additionally extra broadly within the case of sight loss because of injury to the optic nerve. Professor Martin and his crew’s work represents a major breakthrough for eye analysis and the potential of regenerative medication to seek out new therapies for stopping in addition to reversing sight loss.”


Dr Neha Issar-Brown, Director of Analysis, Battle for Sight

It is hoped that this promising analysis shall be adopted by medical trials within the subsequent few years. If profitable, the researchers hope this method might change into a part of a brand new remedy technique to restore the optic nerve in extreme glaucoma over the subsequent decade.

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Journal reference:

Petrova, V., et al. (2020) Protrudin features from the endoplasmic reticulum to help axon regeneration within the grownup CNS. Nature Communications. doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19436-y.

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